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PO Box 176
24497 Mary N. Smith Rd.
Accomac, VA 23301
Phone: 757-787-2504
Fax: 757-787-5606
Dorothy Handy

Dorothy Pettit "Doris" Handy

Thursday, June 20th, 1929 - Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
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DOROTHY NOVELLA PETTIT HANDY, the very beautiful and beloved daughter of the late Charles Pettit and Evelyn Savage, was born on Thursday, June 20, 1929 in Seaside, Virginia. She peacefully departed this life at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in Salisbury, Maryland.

“Mrs. Doris,” “Ma Doris,” “Aunt Doris,” and “Dottie Mae,” as she was affectionally called, loved cooking, singing, reading her Bible, and listening to gospel hymns, such as Rough Side of the Mountain and every song that Mahalia Jackson ever sang. Whenever you would visit her home, if she wasn’t watching Judge Judy or the local news, she’d be listening to hymns and cooking. She’d always have a vanilla cake, or some other delicious food prepared, so that she could fellowship with her guests over a meal. Her fried chicken, potato salad, homemade rolls, sweet potato pie, and blueberry dumplings were family favorites. Guests could also often find a case of 7-Up, ginger ale, or a pitcher of sweet tea or lemonade somewhere nearby.

At a young age, Doris gave her life to Christ and joined Metompkin Baptist Church in Parksley, Virginia. When the doors of the church were open, Doris was in attendance; she loved worshipping God. When the church would travel to places such as Baltimore or Philadelphia with their pastor, Doris would join every chance she could. She also enjoyed listening to local singing groups, such as the Wondering Four, the Leroy Mapp Singers, and the Gospel Harmonizers.

“Ma Doris” was educated in the Accomack County Public School system, having attended Seaside Hall School and Mary N. Smith High School. In 1945, while working at the Parksley Diner, she met Edward Jackson Handy. In 1946, they were married and added to their family three children: Edward, Jr. (Hank), Evelyn (Yvonne), and Henry (Ray).

In 1956, Doris was offered an opportunity that would propel her into not only building her family legacy, but also becoming one of the most celebrated people in Accomack County as well as a household name among health care providers for decades to come. At 27 years old, not only did she become the Shore’s youngest “granny-midwife”, but on June 30, 1990, she retired as the last. Under the watchful eye of her employer, Dr. Walter Eskridge, Doris studied hard and became one of the most widely known granny-midwives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and lower Maryland. During her 30 years as a midwife, Doris delivered 1,200 babies, which included seven of her grandchildren, most of her nieces and nephews, and many of the children in the Whitesville and surrounding communities.

Towards the end of her life, Doris made her home with her grandson, Corey and his wife, Michelle, but she always looked forward to visits from her son, Ray and his family, or her nieces Zelda, Brenda, Valda, Yolanda, and Lydia. She enjoyed the cookouts at her grandson, Maurice’s home, traveling to Snow Hill, MD for family reunions at her nephew, Rudolph’s home, and visiting Atlantic City with her son-in-law, Drew. She relished the conversations with her daughter-in-law, Ann, spending time with her friend, Naomi Howard, and giving advice to all her grandchildren, especially the girls. She often talked to them about being modest in appearance, keeping a clean house, and how to cook a great meal. She truly treasured her family and spending time with all of them, as she attended nearly every event or activity that they were involved in, such as graduations, birthdays, weddings, holidays, and of course, the birth of their children.

Doris was a woman of virtuous character, modest charm, and faultless integrity. She was honorable, warm, comical, caring, respectful, respectable, and extraordinarily generous. For everyone she knew and those she met for the first time, she provided a contagious smile, a warm hug, or an encouraging word.

Dorothy leaves a forever legacy for her loved ones to embrace and share. Proverbs 13:21-22 states that prosperity is the reward of the righteous, and a good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children. An extremely rich inheritance is what she leaves to all who knew and loved her.

Although Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, her son, Edward, Jr. “Hank,” her daughter, Evelyn “Yvonne,” her daughter-in-law, Martha “Marty,” and her stepson, Fulton “Tom,” she leaves to cherish her memory:

Her Children
• Henry “Ray” Handy (Yvonne)
• Andrew Giles (son-in-law)
• Ann White Handy (daughter-in-law)
• Caroline White (stepdaughter-in-law)

Her Grandchildren
• Camesha Handy
• Corey D. Handy, Sr. (Michelle)
• Chakira Ashby
• Carland Handy
• James “Maurice” Cooper (Wanda)
• Yasako “Daurice” Cooper
• Shabako “Bakki” Cooper
• LaRae Cooper
• Sparkle Ackah (Ernest)
• Donny Doughty
• Stephanie Handy
• Tamara Taylor
• Brandon Parker (Destiny)
• Joshua Handy
• Taylor Handy
• Tylor Markham (Mark)

Her Great Grandchildren
• Aja Ruffin (Derrick)
• Camra Handy
• Brianna Young
• Skylar Handy
• Corey D. Handy, Jr.
• Karli Handy
• Carter Coffey
• Destiny Dickerson
• Dyamon Manning (Deonte)
• Larry Ashby, III
• Julian Cooper
• Sofia Gutierrez
• Angel Algarin
• Ayana Cooper
• Zion Ackah
• Nahla Ackah
• Mariah Ackah
• Dereon Doughty
• Di’naja Doughty
• Jemaria Handy-Alex
• Zaire Autry
• Chad Carroll
• Tamiya Carroll
• Cassandra Taylor
• Tristan Taylor
• Elijah Parker
• Noah Parker
• Israel Parker
• Laith Handy
• Talsi Evans
• Jocelyn Hyer
• McCoy Markham

Great-Great Grandchildren
• Aria Taylor (Aja Ruffin)
• Aubree Young (Briana Young)

And a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, May 31st, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, May 31st, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Cooper & Humbles Funeral Co., Inc.
    24497 Mary N. Smith Rd.
    Accomac, VA 23301
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 11:00am
    Adams United Methodist Church
    23532 Lee Mont Rd.
    PARKSLEY, VA 23421
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Gregory L. Duncan, Sr.
  • Interment

    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, June 1st, 2019 11:00am
    Adams United Methodist Church
    23532 Lee Mont Rd.
    PARKSLEY, VA 23421
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Denson & Sharon Spence, Maureen and Brian Williams and Family, and others have sent flowers to the family of Dorothy Pettit "Doris" Handy.
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Toni Malone

Posted at 01:19pm
To Handy Family! You have my deepest condolences. She always had a smile. I could say so much about her. When she know I was working labor and delivery she had a big smile and said to me (BeBe) I’m proud you followed in my foot steps. To her son and grandchildren sorry I will not be able to attend Miss. Doris home going services my prayers with you all. Ann Handy you were her Ruth.

Nancy White

Posted at 08:35pm
My deepest condolence to the family

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 07:10pm
With thoughts of peace and courage for you. May Gods peace comfort you during this difficult time.
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Karen White

Posted at 07:46am
To all of the family we the former staff of Quail Run and me personally would like to express our condolences. When she was with us she would tell MOST of us how our births were and even what day it was. Truly amazing because we would google it and she would be correct. I've known Mrs. Doris all my life never has she been any other way than kind. She can now rest from her labor and get her rewards. The former staff of Quail Run and me Karen White.

Judy Redskins Finney

Posted at 05:15pm
To My Sweet Cousins, May Your Heart Be Fill With Wonderful Memories As You Celebrate A Life Of Longevity And Joyful Times You Had Together. May God Loving Kindness Give You The Strength You Need To Endure. The Finney And Watson Family. Judy Annabelle, Keva, Keith, Calvin And John. Family You Are In Our Prayers.

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