Mechanic 03

Lon Handley

January 29, 1958 ~ October 18, 2021 (age 63)


Lon Handley was born on January 29, 1958 to Joy and Bette Handley in Farmington, NM. He was the fourth of six children, his mother's baby boy: he had three older brothers and two younger sisters. In his younger years, his family lived in Farmington, NM, Kimball, NE, Vernal, UT, Miles City, MT, then back again to Vernal.

Lon graduated from Uintah High School, Class of 1976. He loved attending his many class reunions, reading the Vernal Express every week, and visiting family and friends in Vernal. He gained a love for the Outlaw ATV Jamboree community, and every June his favorite trail ride was up and down Red Mountain, rock climbing. He had a blast, and then spent time repairing and adding better parts to his Can Am. Yes, breaking things only progressed into fixing things, making it all truly blissful, a complete state of happiness, even in the frustration.

Lon, forever, will be a Utah Jazz fan. He watched them every season, and was fortunate to attend many games in person, a wonderful opportunity to have fun with family. With family and friends, he was known to love a good time, to laugh and make jokes often, to value a game of hearts, hoping to beat Gramps. As a friend, brother, uncle, spouse, and father his greatest joy was teasing. Great memories last long, sustain us, become our treasure.

In 1985, in the warm summer month of July, Lon and Shelly Pilling were married. Shortly, thereafter, the newlyweds moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Lon attended night school to become an electrician. For seven years, he worked wiring houses and other residential electrical work. He, then, transitioned to working for Carrier, commercial service, where he became an expert on commercial wiring and controls for cooling units.

Leaving "home" in Vernal was hard. Making a new adopted family here became provisional. Lon was grateful for all who became our supportive, loved ones in a new place that eventually we came to also call "home."

In 2000, Lon became a father to a son. He had two children, Sumer and Lonnie. He often said, the day Sumer and Lon where born, became the best days of his life. Lon leaves behind two incredible kids, adults now. He often longed for less work, to enjoy more vacations and doing things with them.

After high school, Lon learned his first construction skill, masonry, from Buddy Gallerani. Buddy and his wife, Dianne, became family. They retired in Buckeye, AZ. Significantly, them being so close by made it to easy celebrate their birthdays together. Lon shared the same day of birth with Dianne, and Buddy's was close enough.

He began his own business, Desert Sky Electric in 2008. He was very successful, working both residential and commercial jobs. He believed God was always faithful to provide steady work and help him survive big jobs, for he was a small company. This last year his son, Lon, joined him on the jobs, working for the company. That made one boss, with two employees. He was grateful to have such dependable and outstanding workers!

Lon loved the Lord, and his Christian life was a blessing. He had such wonderful experiences inside a life of faith. He enjoyed church, especially the sense of community that comes with that.

Things that were important to Lon were his faith in God and family. Shelly was the love of his life. His daughter, Sumer, and his son, Lon, were the sparkle in his eye. His grandkids held a special place in his heart. His dogs, always where his best buddies, especially his perfect Sophers!

On October 18, 2021, at the age of 63, Lon was unexpectedly called to his eternal home.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Shelly Handley, daughter Sumer and spouse Jay Spika of Saint Paul, MN, and son, Lon Handley, Peoria, AZ. Lon had four grandchildren. Jay and Sumer blessed him with Malek, Nyla, Zander and Amalia.

Lon is preceded in death by his parents, Joy and Bette Handley; his brothers John and Paul Handley; his sister Beth Ann Handley.

He is survived by two siblings. Sister, Lisa Handley Ross, (Gib)Carson City, NV; Lisa's two adult children, nieces, Joy Lynn Bouck (Scott), Hyrum, Ut, and Crystal Ross Jones, Ashland, OR. Brother, Lealand Handley, spouse JayaSri, Tasmania, Australia.

Out of 12 children, Ross and Gladys Handley, Lon's grandfather, and grandmother, have three living daughters. Aunt Joyce Piwenitzky and Waunetta Eastman, Renton, WA, and Ladonna Zetwick, Centennial, CO. Lon had a special love for his aunts and recently traveled to WA with his sister Lisa to spend time with them and other family.

Ross and Gladys Handley lived on a farm in Gurley, Nebraska. Lon grew up playing on their property, more often pretending to drive tractors. Being a grandchild in rural country life was a little bit of heaven here on Earth, for him.

A celebration of life service will be held in Vernal, Utah at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home on Nov. 4th, 2021 at 6 p.m..

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lon, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


Celebration of Life
November 4, 2021

6:00 PM
Ashley Valley Funeral Home
410 North 800 West
Vernal, UT 84078

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