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Hillary Handwerger

Hillary Handwerger, 73, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, died after sunset on 30 October 2020.

The Funeral was A PRIVATE FAMILY GRAVESIDE SERVICE on Monday, 02 November 2020 at 1:00 PM .

Rabbi Josh Whinston and Cantor Regina Hayut officiated.

Click to watch a video of the recorded service.

Family members include:
Beloved wife of 51 years of Kenneth Handwerger. Cherished mother of Lee (Keri Vander Werff) and Jill (Dr. Stephen) Leenay. Loving Grandma of Simon Handwerger, Sophia Leenay, and Ann Leenay (Bilal Khan). Adored sister of Wendy (Rabbi Stuart) Ettinger, Trudy (Scott) Farrell, Laurie (David) Lerner, Ronnie (James) Buchanan, and Jeffrey (Melanie Sacks) Miller.

Hillary was the oldest of six children born to Samuel and Charlotte Miller. She was a voracious reader, and her love of books set the stage for her ultimate career as a business librarian. Hillary also demonstrated artistic talents. She took classes at the Rhode Island School of Design through middle and high school while also studying the cello. Her love of animals led her to apply to Michigan State University’s pre-veterinary medicine program. Although she was not admitted to MSU, she applied and was accepted at Ohio State University, graduating with a secondary teaching degree in biological and related sciences. She also met Ken, the love of her life, at Ohio State, and they were married on the same evening after her OSU graduation.

Hillary was offered (but declined) a teaching assistant position at OSU to join Ken on his VISTA volunteer assignment in northern Michigan. Following the VISTA assignment Hillary and Ken remained in northern Michigan where they taught elementary school for three years. In 1972 the couple moved to Ann Arbor to continue graduate studies at University of Michigan, Hillary in Library Science and Ken in Education Administration. Son Lee (1972) and daughter Jill (1976) were born at UM Women’s Hospital.

Hillary held multiple positions working in or establishing Business Research Libraries in Ann Arbor. Her previous employers included Domino’s Pizza, Ford Motor Company, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and the National Power Plant Team of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For the last 13 years she worked as a self-employed website designer. It was the perfect job that allowed her to combine her artistic skills with her information organization and retrieval skills.

Hillary was a dedicated member of Women of Temple Beth Emeth (formerly Sisterhood). She served as President multiple years, and Programming Chairperson multiple times. She initiated many special programs and services for the membership. Hillary also served on the National Board of the Women of Reform Judaism, and the District Board where she was Program Chair, Webmaster, and published the newsletter. She was extremely proud of her work with these organizations, stating in her own words, “WRJ gives me voice, direction, an extended family, outlet for social responsibility, and so much more. We are a people, stronger together!”

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Hillary Handwerger may do so by making a contribution to:

Temple Beth Emeth
2309 Packard St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Click to Visit Charity Website

Women of Reform Judaism
633 Third Avenue
New York , NY 10017-6778
Click to Visit Charity Website

Women of Temple Beth Emeth
2309 Packard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 665-4744
Click to Visit Charity Website