Anner Elizabeth Handy, 87, a nutrition specialist and program administrator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 30 years,
died of pneumonia and a stroke Dec. 20 at Beebe Hospital in Lewes, Del.
Miss Handy, who preferred to use A. Elizabeth Handy because of her unusual first name, which was inherited from an aunt,
began working at the USDA in 1944 as a dietary specialist. When Congress passed the National School Lunch Act in 1946, she
became research project leader in charge of the agency's school lunch management studies, investigating and developing
research at schools across the United States.
She transferred to the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in 1951 and traveled across the country providing technical
assistance related to school lunches. By 1960, she had moved to the Agricultural Marketing Service division that administers the
inspection and grading programs for poultry and eggs. The only nutritionist in the division, she traveled extensively, working with
federal, state and local governments and numerous consumer and professional organizations.
When Miss Handy retired from the USDA in 1975, she was the recipient of several awards, including the department's
Distinguished Service Award. Colleagues and superiors praised her for unflagging cheerfulness and consistently helpful
She was born in the Barcroft community of Arlington County and graduated from the old Central High School in Washington. She
graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and did graduate work at George Washington University and the
USDA's Graduate School. She began working as a dietitian during World War II at the old Doctors Hospital in Washington before
joining the USDA.
She was a member of Arlington Presbyterian Church and the American Dietetic Association.
Miss Handy was engaged to an Army Air Forces officer during World War II, but he died after his bomber was shot down. She
cared for her aging father and stepmother for many years.
For the past 30 years, her constant companion was James Feula, a retired Harvard University football coach. Together they
created large, productive vegetable gardens and cultivated fig trees at her retirement home in Seaford, Del., and their resort
home in Bethany Beach, Del. Feula died Dec.12, eight days before she died.
Survivors include a brother, retired Coast Guard Capt. Walter K. Handy Jr. of Woodstock, Va.