Surrounded by her family, Patricia Handy (Pat) passed away on April 20 in Tucson, Arizona. She was our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, companion and friend.
Pat was born Feb. 28, 1933, in River Rouge, Michigan, to Theophile “Tim” Charles LaPorte and Bessie Aldea (Vincelette) LaPorte. Bessie later married Leo “Pete” Snider, who became Pat’s stepfather.
In the mid-1930s, Pat’s family left Michigan. They moved to Stanley, eventually settling in Hailey, Idaho. Her stories of growing up in Hailey with older sister Harriet and younger sister Karolyn reflected the uniqueness of the area, including “Papa” Hemingway, Ketchum Hot Springs, Sun Valley, the Winter of 48-49, miners, drifters, school friends and small-town life in the Wood River Valley.
Pat was 10 when she met a young boy from Wyoming, Mike Kenney, on the Martin Ranch out near Craters of the Moon National Monument. As Pat would tell it, she wasn’t impressed with him because he teased and tormented her with his lasso. After graduating from high school, she happened to meet Mike again at the Martin Ranch. This time though, Mike had his sights set on courtship and marriage. Pat and Mike were wed July 24, 1953, in Evanston while he was home on Navy leave. After Mike’s discharge, they lived briefly in Butte City while Mike worked at Atomic City, then moved to Evanston.
In 1960, they moved to Kemmerer, where they would live and work for the next 12 years and raise their three children, Michael, Marie and Peter.
Pat was a full-time home maker but found time for other pursuits, including as a Cub Scout den mother and serving in 4-H, PTA and St. Patrick’s Altar and Rosary. She was an accomplished and award-winning singles and league bowler and worked for the school district for a number of years as a teacher’s aide and secretary to the principal.
She enjoyed traveling with the family, whether on a weekend camping trip, visiting family in Idaho or on a multi-week vacation adventure. A special quality was her enduring patience with the menagerie of “pets” the kids brought home over the years — dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, magpies, a hawk, an owl, squirrels, rabbits, etc.
In 1972, Mike accepted a job for UP&L at the Huntington Power Plant, so they moved to Price, Utah. During the remainder of the ’70s, Pat enjoyed making new friends and traveling, including her first trip to Australia and New Zealand.
In 1980, Pat and Mike divorced. She lived and worked in Boise for a couple years. Then Pat met Everett Handy, who brought laughter and adventure back into her life. They married and moved to a retirement community in Citrus Heights, California. For the next eight years, Pat and Everett enjoyed spending summers camping and fishing at Lake Almanor and traveling throughout the west. Tragically, Everett passed away in the spring of 1991. Alone again, Pat found solace and support in friends, family and a second visit to New Zealand.
Pat would let one more man come into her life, Dan Brown. Dan and Pat, acquainted through the Lake Almanor camping community, had each recently lost their spouses. As their friendship grew, they hit the road, visiting family, friends and Tribal Casinos around the west with equal enthusiasm. Pat and Dan enjoyed many adventures and each other’s companionship for the next 12 years until Dan passed away.
In 2012, health issues began to affect her independence, so Pat condensed her life and moved to assisted living, a few miles from her daughter Marie’s home in Salt Lake City. There she enjoyed new friends and activities, especially leading the assisted living Wii Bowling team to numerous victories including a big win over the Salt Lake Unified Fire District team.
In February of this year, Pat moved to Tucson, Arizona, to be close to her youngest son, Pete, and her grandson Joey. Then on April 20, with the staff of New Era Elder Care and GERINET Healthcare Hospice standing by and her family playing music, singing old songs and telling stories, Pat departed this world with dignity and grace.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, her stepfather and older sister Harriet Andreasen.
She is survived by her younger sister, Karolyn (Snider) McNeal of Boise; her children and their spouses Michael J. Kenney (Anna Moscicki) of Dubois, Marie (Craig) Bowcut of Taylorsville, Utah and Peter J. Kenney of Tucson, Arizona; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life is planned for July 22 in Boise. Pat’s ashes will be interred with her mother in the Hailey Cemetery.