Troim Tamara Handler, nee Katz, and Frank Handler celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Sept. 14, 2011. Both from Passaic, they met when she was 16 and he was a 17-year-old naval recruit. They corresponded during the war and, after the war ended, they fell in love and were married in 1946 at Passaic’s Odd Fellows Hall.
The Handlers moved to Long Island, NY, during the 1950s, where they raised their two daughters, and eventually both retired from teaching; Mr. Handler taught social studies at Islip High School and Mrs. Handler taught English at Port Jefferson Junior High School.
After retirement, the Handlers became “snowbirds,” splitting their time between Clearbrook in Monroe Township and West Palm Beach, Fla. They also began second careers as lecturers on Jewish history and the Yiddish language, speaking regularly at universities and elderhostels. Mrs. Handler also spent time teaching Yiddish at Oxford University in England, and followed in the footsteps of her father, renowned poet Menke Katz, when she had her first book of original Yiddish poetry published at the age of 75.
The couple are the parents of Claudia and her husband Brad Dourif and Shelley and her husband Sport Murphy, and the grandparents of Alex, Cleo, Miles, and Lily.