In Memory of Dean Handsaker

Dean Handsaker
Dean Handsaker
Born: September 2, 1935
Died: April 14, 2017
Age: 81
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Dean Handsaker
September 2, 1935 - April 14, 2017
From: Nevada, IA

Dean Handsaker, age 81, of Nevada, died Friday, April 14, 2017, at Story County Senior Care in Nevada.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at Memorial Lutheran Church in Nevada, with Pastors Myron Herzberg and David Burling officiating.  Burial will follow in the Nevada Municipal Cemetery.  Memorial visitation will be held at the church on Monday from 4-7 p.m. 

Born September 2, 1935, in Nevada, Iowa, Robert Dean Handsaker was the son of Harold “Pete” and Frances “Irene” (Proctor) Handsaker.  He grew up in Fernald, a small farming community northeast of Nevada, and graduated from Fernald High School in 1953.  Dean attended Iowa State University for a time and served eight years in the Iowa Air National Guard.

He farmed with his brother in the Fernald area from 1955-70, raising corn and soybeans, and also farrowed and finished 1000 hogs per year.  During this time, Dean worked part-time as a basketball official.  In 1990, the Iowa Athletic Coaches Association inducted him into the Basketball Officials Hall of Fame.  In 2004, he was inducted into the Officials Hall of Fame by the IHSAA.

In 1967, Dean began working for Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company, first as a sales representative and, beginning in 1972, as sales manager.  He retired after 26 years of service to the company.    

On August 26, 1962, Dean was united in marriage to Marcia Hilburn in Nevada.  The couple was blessed with three sons, Paul, Mark, and Dave. 

Dean was a charter member of the Nevada Kiwanis Club.  During the course of his nearly 45-year membership he served in many capacities, including as President and Lieutenant Governor.  He was a faithful and active member of his church, serving on the council, in the choir, and on numerous fund drives and committees.  He took an active role in the community as well, with eight years on the Nevada City Council, as 4-H Fairboard Secretary, 4-H leader, and countless other civic responsibilities.

Survivors include his wife, Marcia; three sons, Paul (Dianne) Handsaker of Pearl City, IL, Mark (Mary) Handsaker of Nevada; and Dave (Jennifer) Handsaker of Winterset; eight grandchildren, Garrett, Cheyenne, Paige, Cash, Sydney, Danielle Cunningham, Layla, and Cooper; and two great-grandsons, Parker and Max.  He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Gloria Handsaker of Nevada; a niece, Ryan (Beaman) Black; and three nephews, Gary, Rob, and Craig Handsaker.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Dale “Hank” Handsaker.

Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Dean and his family.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in Dean’s name may be directed to the Nevada Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 4, Nevada, IA  50201, or to Memorial Lutheran Church, 701 11th Street, Nevada, IA  50201.


Friday, April 21, 2017 at 4:10 PM
“I was very sorry to hear about Dean's death. I got to know him well through Kiwanis. His dedication, talent and ideas made a big impact on this community. He will be missed. ”
- Mary Phillips
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 3:17 PM
“Our Sympathies to Marcia and Family.
We met thru officiating, and I always enjoyed watching and learning from Dean's work & knowledge of the game. Handsacker & Lounsberry
Sampson & Hildebrand
were the cream of the crop of officials in their day !
Ron & Iva Jurgens”
- Ron & Iva Jurgens
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 3:17 PM
I am very sorry to hear of your loss and will keep you and the family in my prayers. It was an honor to work with Dean and he taught me many things while at Pioneer. I am confident that he is in the arms of our Lord.


- Mike Etzel
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 6:34 PM
“Our deepest sympathy for the families. Dean was our special friend as are the whole family. He will always be remembered.”
- Chris and Wes Fausch
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 11:02 AM
“While I didn't know Dean personally I am acquainted with several in the Handsaker family. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to all on the loss of their beloved family member. May our Lords peace be with you at this time of deep sorrow.”
- Karen Evans
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 11:02 AM
“Dean's family,

My heartfelt sympathies to each of you on the loss of your husband, dad, grandpa, etc.

I got to know Dean as an OFFICIAL of baseketball and softball with his partner, Lounsbury when they came to ROLAND. Since it's been 50 years, I can't remember his 1st name but their faces will remain in my heart and memory forever.

Each of them were fair in their "calls" on the basketball court or softfall field.

Each had great smiles and personalities which I got to know off the field or the court.

Dean has left his mark in this world; all of us who got to know him, are better off for having done so.

RIP DEAN... "you're SAVE or out"! Sorry, my softball days are coming back!!

May God comfort you all now and in the months, days, and years ahead.”
- Betty Tungesvik Gordon
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 11:02 AM
“So sorry for you loss Marcia, our thoughts and prayers for the family!”
- Lois & Art Svestka
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 11:02 AM
“Dear Marcia, your family and Dean's friends,
My thoughts and prayers go out to you all at this difficult time of closure. Dean was involved in many things and crossed paths with a great number of people over the years. Besides 4-H, my most special memories include him officiating basketball games with Ray Lounsberry. He was fortunate to have such a great mentor at such a young age and they worked well together. Now may he Rest in Peace, til we all meet again.
God's grace and peace be with each of you. Milfordite, Jurine Borton Moore ”
- Jurine Borton Moore
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM
“My condolences to the Handsaker family. Dean leaves behind a legacy through his sons and their families. With strong roots in agriculture they have influenced many people! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

- Craig Carter”
- Craig Carter
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11:50 AM
“Dean was a great leader. Pioneer was fortunate to have Dean as a part of the sales team.


Craig and Connie Ross”
- Craig Lee Ross
Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 8:45 AM
“We knew Dean well because we worked with him as a sales rep for Pioneer. We planted trial plots and when harvest came, Dean was always there. One of the last times we visited with Dean was a few years ago when they and Oltrogges were in Mesa during the winter. We had a very nice visit while enjoying lunch at the SOUP OR SALAD restaurant. He was a very nice pleasant man, full of life and laughter. I know that he will be missed by many who knew and worked with him. Our sincere sympathy to Marcia and his children.”
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11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church
Nevada, Iowa


Pastor Myron Herzberg
Pastor David Burling


Ron Jacobson
Bob Collins
Steve Bruns
Bernie Mens
Chuck Ray
Ray Lounsberry
Tom Cahill


4-7 p.m.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church
Nevada, Iowa


Nevada Municipal Cemetery
Nevada, Iowa
2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017