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John Kendig "Jack" Handwork
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Birth: Feb. 12, 1880
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Oct. 17, 1921
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA

Note: John was buried 20 Oct 1921. He was a much beloved, current Mayor of Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA. The whole town shut down on the day of his funeral. He was at the town meeting when he began to have a sudden, massive Heart Attack. He walked down the street to his friend, Dr. J.S.M. Pratt's office, where John's wife, Lillian Dell (nee PARKER/nee Tompkins-Adoptive name) and his brother Philip DeHaven Handwork II came just in time to bid him adieu. From his arrival at the doctor's office, until he "moved to Heaven into the Arms of Jesus", was only about 20 minutes.

Coatesville newspaper --- October 22, 1921


Like a bolt of lightning from a cloudless sky came the awful news on Monday night that Mayor JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK had died suddenly in the office of Dr. Pratt from an attack of acute indigestion. Mayor Handwork was presiding over a meeting of City Council when the attack came on. He called Vice-Mayor Batteiger to the chair and went to the physician's office for treatment. Dr. Pratt at once recognized that Mayor Handwork's condition was serious and administered remedies to bring relief---but too late. The Angel of Death had already set his icy hand upon him, and in a few minutes the popular Mayor, the good citizen, the loving husband and father, the true and faithful friend had drawn aside the mysterious curtains that separate time from eternity, and entered into life eternal. Never within our recollection in Coatesville did the death of any man cast such a gloom over our people as did that of Mayor JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK. Nor is that to be wondered at, for there was something about him that at once impressed all of his friends and associates with his earnestness and positiveness of character. His uprightness, his gentleness, his suavity of manner, his kindness won the love of all men. He was the personification of frankness, free and openhearted in all his actions; deceit to him was unknown. Devoted to some friend or some cause, he knew neither variableness nor shadow of turning. Possessing these sterling qualities which characterize a gentleman, he was warmhearted, true and faithful, and never so happy as when contributing to the happiness of those around him. Of his private life, let the expression of the vast concourse of his friends in this city, where he spent the greater portion of his useful life, be the strongest tribute that could be rendered him. No language could speak in stronger terms of his ability, his watchfulness for the public good, or his integrity, than the fact that he not only had no opponent within the ranks of his own party [Republican] at the recent nominating primaries for Mayor, but he was also nominated for that office by the Democratic party---something that never occurred before in the history of the town. Faithful to those who were near and dear to him to the end, faithful to his public duties to the end, he is an example to each of us. May we all, when we come to lay ourselves down, be able to feel that, both as to our private and public duties, it may be said of us, as it has been well said of him: "He was faithful to the end."

When a good man dies, Upon whose honored name There rests no flaw, no blame, No heartless, cruel shame; No tarnish to his fame, We cannot count the cost Nor reckon what we've lost---When a good man dies. When a good man dies, Whose nobleness succeeds To bless the many needs And cheer the heart that bleeds With high, unselfish deeds---We cannot count the cost Nor reckon what we've lost---When a good man dies. When a good man dies, Whose name can proudly stand---
Whose memory can command The tribute sweet and grand,
"An honor to the land," We cannot count the cost Nor reckon what we've lost---When a good man dies.

True, it has been said, "We live in thoughts, not breaths; in deeds, not years." While his life was comparatively short, he lived long enough to fight his way up to a prominent round in the commercial world, and he lived long enough to become a recognized factor in the public life of his city and to write his autograph in indelible characters in the hearts of our people. It is not only his family and his intimate friends that suffer by the sudden death of JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK; the loss is to Coatesville and humanity, for Mayor Handwork was of that large type of man whose field is within the wide limits. But those of his friends who had access to the sunshiny nature of his soul can appreciate the rarity of the character which made him universally beloved. Coatesville was fortunate in having him as our community's popular idol, living among us, radiating that sympathetic humanity which was so peculiarly his own. Born within a few miles of Coatesville, he had been a citizen of this city the greater portion of his active career. We had come to look upon him as our own, though a neighboring borough claims the honor of his birthplace. For such a man to die at two score years of age not only brings deep and never-ending griefs to his dearest ones for which there is no solace, but his passing is a loss, almost a calamity to his city. Mayor JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK was suddenly stricken in the years of his usefulness, when years of conscientious devotion to every duty gave him every reason to anticipate the writing of his name in bold letters still higher up the ladder of fame and successful achievement. But the bonds which are fixed to the duration of life do not always measure its worth. His career, though cut off in the midst of its usefulness, has been a sweet and wholesome example in right living, high thinking, and unselfish in private and public walks of life, and his fragrant memory will ever remain an inspiration to those who loved him living and mourn him dead. While JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK was what is known as a good mixer and intimately associated with the fraternal and social life of our city, it was in the sacred precincts of his home that his affections were centered. Faithful and loving as husband and father, he has left behind him in the hearts of widow and children the tenderest memories of love and devotion. His funeral, which was largely attended, took place on Thursday afternoon. Religious services were conducted at the house by the Rev. Addison A. Lamb, rector of the P. E. {Protestant Episcopal} Church of the Trinity, of which the deceased was a member. The floral tributes from friends, fraternal and social organizations with which the late Mayor was identified were numerous and beautiful. Out of respect to his memory, all places of public business were closed on Thursday. At the close of the service all that was mortal of JOHN KENDIG HANDWORK was consigned to Mother Earth in Fairview cemetery, where, in the words of Sir Thomas Moore, [1779-1852] the sweet poet of Erie. [Ireland ~ "O! Breathe Not His Name", 2nd stanza]

"The night dew-falls, though in silence it weeps, Shall brighten with verdure the ground where he sleeps; And the tear that we shed, though in secret it rolls, Shall long keep his memory green in our souls." Goodbye, "Jack."

Note: John's youngest Granddaughter, Janet, has several of the numerous original 1921 Obituaries in the form of very fragile newspapers. ConsiderTheLilies22
Family links: 
  Philip DeHaven Handwork (1845 - 1906)
  Caroline Taggart Kendig Handwork (1845 - 1916)
  Lillian Dell Parker Handwork LeBaron (1888 - 1968)
  Philip DeHaven Handwork (1908 - 1961)*
  George Heber Handwork (1916 - 1994)*
  Clara Kendig Handwork Taylor (1870 - 1953)*
  Sarah Frances Handwork (1872 - 1950)*
  John Kendig Handwork (1880 - 1921)
  Andrew Jackson Williams Handwork (1885 - 1957)*
*Calculated relationship
HANDWORK - John Kendig 1880----1921 Emblem on the front of the headstone is for the Free And Accepted Masons ~ Scottish Rite; one of many fraternal and public organizations to which John belonged.
Fairview Cemetery
South Coatesville
Chester County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Lot #193, Southwest Quarter
Created by: Janet*Handwork-Parker/Me...
Record added: Sep 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41842424
John Kendig Jack Handwork
Added by: Janet*Handwork-Parker/Mellen-Taylor
John Kendig Jack Handwork
Added by: Janet*Handwork-Parker/Mellen-Taylor
John Kendig Jack Handwork
Added by: Janet*Handwork-Parker/Mellen-Taylor
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Grandfather...Daddy George dearly missed being reared by you, as did Phil as well. Your Dear Lillian is with you now. Your good friend, Hank LeBaron, did a wonderful job with both of your sons! Judy and I surely missed getting to know you. We'll meet you ...(Read more)
- Janet*Handwork-Parker/Mellen-Taylor
 Added: Jan. 12, 2016
O! Breathe not his name! let it sleep in the shade, / Where cold and unhonored his relics are laid; / Sad, silent, and dark be the tears that we shed, / As the night dew that falls on the grave o'er his head. / But the night dew that falls, though in sile...(Read more)
- AngelSeeker
 Added: Dec. 14, 2013

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