Doris L. (Farrell) Hand

May 1st, 2012

On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, Doris L. (Farrell) Hand, age 95, a long-time resident of Wilmington, died peacefully at home with her son Bobby faithfully by her side.
Affectionately known as Dolly, she was born on January 9, 1917, in Somerville MA. She was one of fifteen beloved children of the late John and Grace (White) Farrell. Dolly’s family moved to Wilmington when she was a young girl, was raised and educated in Wilmington, and graduated from Wilmington High School.
During World War II, she was a tower watcher, spending countless hours keeping an eye out for enemy planes.  She was very helpful and was always trying to do her part. 

On February 16, 1946, Dolly married her sweetheart Roscoe O. Hand after he returned from active duty in the Navy. They spent 46 years together, raised two sons, and shared many memorable times before his passing in September 1992.  She was very active in St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, donating countless hours creating wooden crafts for church bazaars and running the craft tables, playing the piano, and appearing in a variety of minstrel shows.  In her spare time, she loved playing cards, making crafts, and was an enthusiastic gardener.  Many times, Dolly dressed up as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and visited the schools just to make the children happy and enjoy the excitement on their faces. 

Dolly will be lovingly remembered for her quiet nature and her big heart, as a devoted and caring wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend. She lived her life devoted to family, friends, and her church.  She will be greatly missed.
Dolly was the beloved wife of the late Roscoe O. Hand, devoted mother of Thomas R. Hand and his wife Janet of Georgetown and Robert B. Hand of Wilmington.  She was loving Grammie of Jennifer (Hand) Runge and her husband Dr. Nathaniel Runge of Yarmouth, Maine, Kristen (Hand) Ambrosi and her husband Derek Thomas Ambrosi of Nutley, New Jersey, Thomas R. Hand and his wife Megan T. Hand of Stowe, Vermont, and Megan E. Hand of Woburn.  She was lovingly known as Grammie Dolly to her great-grandchildren Emilia Grace and Elisa Mary of Yarmouth, Maine, and Madison Kay, Devon Thomas , and Luna Irene of Nutley, New Jersey.  Dolly was the last of her siblings and is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family & friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Saturday, May 5th at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:30 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours Friday, May 4th from 5-8 p.m.

10 Entries in Guest Book for “Doris L. (Farrell) Hand”

  1. Mary Louise Hogarty says:

    Dear Krisen, Derrick and the entire Hand family,
    Kristen,You have spoken to me about your lovely Grannie and I am so sorry to hear of her passing. Know you loved her so much and I know she loved you back. How lucky you all were to have had this wonderful woman in your lives.
    Celebrate her life together in the next few days . I know that you will treasure her influence and love in all the years to come.
    Mary Louise Hogarty

  2. Janet Witham Hawes says:

    My condolences to you and your family, Bobby. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know you have a lifetime of memories to help you through this difficult time. Take heart in all those…..

  3. Joanne Carey says:

    Dear Megan:

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss, and hope you find comfort in loving memories during this time of sorrow.


  4. Phyllis Fitzpatrick says:

    To Bobby @ Tommy, Janet and all the grandchildren, We all have been blessed having had such a “beautiful person” in our lives ! I will especially treasure the memory of the Christmas celebrations in Wilmington,as a young girl,with Dolly greeting all of us so lovingly. Happiness and love radiated in her personality & we now have ” a special angel in heaven “watching over us all! Lovingly remembered and prayers for all the family, Cousin Phyllis [Boynton Beach Fl]

  5. Leslie Fish says:

    My condolences to the entire Hand family and especially to Bob. I know your mom appreciated all you did for her these past few years, Bob. She will remain in my prayers.

  6. Candy and Casey (Farrell) Bucks says:

    Aunt Dolly will be greatly missed by her nieces in Reading, PA. For many years we would travel back home to Wilmington in the summertime for vacation with our parents. Aunt Dolly and Uncle Ross always made those vacations so much fun as did our cousins. We’ll always remember her as such a thoughtful, outgoing and generous person. We always looked forward to spending our summers with the Hand family. I know my father Tom was one of the first to greet Aunt Dolly in the Lord’s eternal paradise. Lots of love and sympathy to Bobby, Tommy and the entire family.

    Love, Candy Farrell

  7. Jim and Carole Devine says:

    We were very sad to hear of Dolly’s passing. Our sympathies to all of her family. She was a lovely lady.
    The Devine Family

  8. Constance Farrell Ward says:

    ” Do not go through life never having played the music” [Wayne Ayers].

  9. Constance Farrell Ward says:

    “Do not go through life never having played the music ” The sounds of nature certainly has brought music into everyone’slife .Aunt Dolly was aware of thiswhen she was gardening,crafting or certainly watchiong her two boys at play when they were young . When my sister Phyllis & I visited Aunt Dolly a few years ago, she recalled one of her fondest memories being that of her mother and father gathering the family around the Piano & while her mother,Grace played the piano her father, Jack playedhis violin. Dolly inspired her children and grandchildren as well, that music makes the world go round & brings much happiness & joy to family life. What a treasure & inspiration Aunt Dolly has been to all of us ! May God bless you, Aunt Dolly & all your loving family!

  10. Anita (Rosa) Gleason says:

    Tom & Bobby-I am sending a huge hug to you both, it encloses all the warmth, love, tenderness and the “I can do anything” attitude that I learned many years ago from your mom. She has always been in my heart and my children have heard many stories about her. As they each got involved in music…they had to hear again, about ‘poor Mrs hand, she tried to teach me the piano’. I learned how to support and let my children develope their gifts from her. She would be proud of them, as she was of you both. An amazing woman. God Bless, Anita

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