Cover photo for Donald "Huggy Bear" Handler, Sr.'s Obituary
Donald "Huggy Bear" Handler, Sr. Profile Photo

Donald "Huggy Bear" Handler, Sr.

April 22, 2021

Donald "Huggy Bear" Handler, Sr.

Donald “Huggy Bear” Handler, Sr. – A Simple Man – passed away peacefully at his home in Kiln, MS surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at the age of 72. Mr. Handler was born on October 11, 1948 in Biloxi, MS. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 in the Infantry Division where he received an Honorable Discharge. Mr. Handler served in the U.S. Navy as a CBC painter from which he retired. He received the National Defense Service Medals, the Vietnam Service Medal with Three Bronze Service Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Expert M-16 Rifle Medal and the Sharp Shooter Medal. Mr. Handler enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at his local VFW, the American Legion and singing Karaoke at Anita’s. He loved cooking and grilling for family and friends, playing Santa Clause and riding his Harley. He was preceded in death by his parents, Morris and Wionna Handler; his brother, Sammy Handler; and four angel grandchildren. Mr. Handler’s survivors include his wife, Melissa Handler; and between them, Huggy and Melissa were blessed with a large family: Donnie and Sherrie Handler, Jeanell and Jerrod Todaro, Ricky and Kristy Handler, Amanda and Jarrid Mathers, Frank Hess, Jr., Shawn Hess and James and Tessa Hess; his grandchildren, Brooke (Dustin) Reynolds, Logan McCandless, Reganne (Denzel) Morano, Gracie Handler, Christian McGraw, Breigh Hess, Kaydence Hess, Arthur Donald Handler, III, Bryson Todaro, Brenden Hess, Landon Hess, Mason Hess, Ryder Mathers, Silas Hess and Nola Todaro; his bonus grandchild, Cody Pierce; his great-grandchildren, Grayson Morano and Cooper Reynolds; his siblings, Jimmy and Diane Williams, Donna Kay Handler, Shirley Vogel, Morris Handler and Mack Handler, Sr.; his Godchildren, Dawn Cormier and Chris Handler; his parents-in-law, George and Elaine Kessner; and his best friend, Nellie. The family wishes to express extreme gratitude and a special thanks to Lois Evans, who was a blessing during difficult times and to Deaconess Hospice for their compassion and professional care and service. Funeral Services will be held at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home on Howard Avenue in Biloxi on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Friends may visit from 5:00 pm until service time. A graveside service will be held at Biloxi National Cemetery on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:00 am. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the Handler family.
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Past Services

Visitation

Monday, April 26, 2021

5:00 - 7:00pm

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Funeral Service

Monday, April 26, 2021

Starts at 7:00pm

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Starts at 11:00am

Biloxi National Cemetery

400 Veterans Ave., Biloxi, MS 39531

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Cemetery

Biloxi National Cemetery

400 Veterans Ave., Biloxi, MS 39531

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