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John L. "Jack" Handy Papers

Identifier: TMD336

Scope and Contents

Collection contains scrapbook (1942-1943), article (1948), clippings (1991-1996), typescripts: "Ski Troops in the Mud" by H. Bradley B. Benedict (1995), memoirs: "The Heroic Fratricides" and "How I Qualified for the Ski Troops" by Jack L. Handy (n.d.), correspondence (n.d.), photographs and photographic post cards (1943, 1980).


  • 1942-1996


Language of Materials

Material is in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The imply Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

John Littlefield “Jack” Handy was born August 14th, 1920 in Akron, Ohio, the son of John L. Handy, Sr. and Virginia Seiberling Handy. He grew up in Barnstable, Massachusetts, where he received his education at the Diller-Quayle School of Music, Milton Academy class of 1939, Harvard undergraduate class of 1948, Columbia graduate class of 1950, and worked on his PhD at Brown University.

Handy enlisted in the Army October 5, 1942, in New York City, New York and was assigned to Company L of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment at Camp Hale, Colorado. He participated in the Kiska landing and occupation. He remained with the 10th Mountain Division through mountain and winter warfare training at Camp Hale, and also served at Camp Swift. Prior to the Division’s deployment to Italy, Handy was selected for officer training. After graduating as a lieutenant, he was sent to Japan and continued his work there as a civilian after the war ended. He met his future wife Jane in the Japanese Alps where she worked for the Red Cross. They were married in Tokyo and honeymooned on a hut-to-hut ski trip in the mountains.

Jack taught English at the Waring Ranch School in New Mexico, the University of Kansas, Middlebury and Bennington Colleges and was the director of admissions at Middlebury and Bennington. He moonlighted as a college counselor at the Hoosac School in NY.

In 1964 Jack became headmaster of the Stowe School, developing a curriculum that included the arts, outdoor education and a non-resident term. He taught writing and poetry classes in the community, and furthered his interests in music, acting and wilderness survival. When Handy retired from the school, students and faculty built him a sailboat as a farewell gift. Handy sailed and rowed his 16' Peapod over hundreds of miles along the New England seacoast and on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

During retirement, Handy built with fieldstones, volunteered for a Burlington advocacy center, taught English, and served on numerous boards and committees. Despite developing Alzheimer's, he continued to hike, jog, saw wood, ski, sail and play the piano until he was 89. Jack's wife Jane Martin Handy preceded him in death in 2007, and he passed away December 14, 2012 at Shelburne, Vermont.


.25 box

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; Jane V. Handy; 2014.


Repository also has: "Ski troops in the mud..." by H. Bradley B. Benedict (C940.5428 B434sk 1995).


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.

Linking Entry Complexity Note

Forms part of: 10th Mountain Division Resource Center Collection.

John L. "Jack" Handy Papers
Keli Schmid
September 11, 2020
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States