Paying tribute to retired Biloxi Fire Department Mechanic Sammy Handler

Sixty-two year-old Sammy Handler passed away last Thursday. He was a longtime Biloxi Fire Museum supporter and retired fire department mechanic.

Sammy Handler passed away suddenly last Thursday. He was a proud board member of the West End Hose Company #3 Fire Museum. He had an affinity for fire trucks, owning them and telling the history of them.

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney placed a black wreath on the front of the museum in honor of his dear friend. “We got to be good friends. He’s just a great guy and a lot of people knew that. He’s just one of those people that you had to like.”

Handler and Boney both grew up in the Biloxi Back Bay and while they both worked different positions in the fire department, Chief Boney looked up to his friend.

Tuesday there was a visitation and mass held for Sammy at the Blessed Seelos Catholic Church. Outside of the church sat an antique mechanic truck with a black wreath hanging on it. “He had health issues, but we never thought he would be taken this soon. It’s a loss and we’re all just trying to deal with that loss.”

He was a strong supporter of the Biloxi Fire Department, spending whatever time he could checking in on his fellow firefighters. “He loved his community. He loved his family. He was a big supporter of police and firefighters across the city.”

At the visitation loved ones, city officials, fellow firefighters, and locals from around the community gathered together to pay tribute to the passing of a man who some would say dedicated his life to civil service.

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