Archived Story

Willie May Blythe Handy

Published 12:02am Monday, November 12, 2012

NATCHEZ — Services for Willie May Blythe Handy, 93, of Mobile, Ala., who died Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Mobile, where she had been a resident for the last 11 years, will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor officiating.

Burial will follow in the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until service time at the church.

Mrs. Handy was born Nov. 9, 1918, in Como, the daughter of Mildred Taylor and Joseph Blythe.

Mrs. Handy grew up in Lake Cormorant. She attended the University of Mississippi, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. After graduating, she taught school for a year before marrying George Stuart Handy in 1941. She lived thereafter in New York and Jacksonville, Fla., where Mr. Handy served in the FBI and U.S. Navy, before moving to Natchez in 1945.

Mrs. Handy was active in many organizations and was one of the charter members of the Junior Auxiliary. She served in many capacities in the Natchez Garden Club and the the Musical Arts League, was a Girl Scout leader and a communicant of St. Mary Basilica.

Mrs. Handy’s greatest joy was being a homemaker, wife, mother and grandmother. Her family thought of her as a “cat in the kitchen,” as she loved to entertain friends and her beloved grandchildren. She was known for her spirited bridge playing and her love of the piano.

In 2001, Mrs. Handy moved to Portier Place in Mobile, to be near her daughter. She entertained the residents of the facilities with her vast musical repertoire, all played by ear, and she loved a party.

Mrs. Handy was preceded in death by her parents; her two brothers, Joseph Blythe and Peck Blythe, and her husband of 48 years.

Survivors include her daughter, Stella Hester and husband, Raymond; two grandsons, Hal Jennings and wife, Michelle, and Will Hester, to whom she became affectionately known as MayMay; two great-grandchildren, John Handy Jennings and Ann Stuart Jennings; a devoted sister-in-law, Betty Blythe, and niece, Alice Denton.

The family wished to thank all her friends for their love and support, especially the staff at Allen Memorial Home and Odyssey Hospice and most especially her caregiver and friend, Betty Douglas.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.