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Michael Haas, Los Angeles
Michael Haas, a long time handball player in Southern California, passed away on December 31, 2015. He had been battling AML cancer for eight months. Michael was always a pleasure on the court. He was very agile, played hard and had an awesome ceiling shot. I played him twenty years ago at Supreme Courts in Van Nuys and most recently at Spectrum Club in Canoga Park. Michael didn’t play many tournaments but he won a few rounds in the USHA Nationals a couple years ago, I believe in the 70 “B” singles. Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1941. He was a hard working family man and a computer programmer. He would often pass up handball games to go square dancing with Barbara. Can you believe it? Michael is survived by his wife Barbara of 53 years. His two sons, Jeremy and Daniel, and granddaughter Emma.
Burton Mandel, St. Louis.
Burton Mandel died December 23, 2015. Beloved husband of Patricia A. Mandel for 31 years. Dear father of Neil (Jenny) Mandel, Todd Mandel and the late Michael Mandel. Dear step-father of Michael DeBlasi and Nicole Wagner. Loving grandfather of Joshua and Alexis Mandel, Aaron and Hailey Wagner. Dear brother of Stuart (Paula) Mandel and the late Alan Mandel. Beloved son of the late Mac and Charlotte Mandel. Our dear uncle, cousin and friend. Burt loved the game and though not the best player, he had power and could hop the ball both ways. In addition to playing, Mandel had a passion for recruiting and mentoring new players. Burt especially enjoyed watching sons Neil and Todd play. Whenever Neil asked his dad about heaven, Burt would respond: “Oh, you mean the big handball court in the sky.”
William (Bill) Barry, Jacksonville, Fla.
Bill Barry (94), passed away peacefully after a short illness on Aug. 27, 2015 with his family by his side. Barry was born in Pawtucket, RI and served as a Captain in WWII, stationed in Marseille, France, where he met and married his wife Suzette. After the war, they moved back to Pawtucket where Barry earned his degree from Providence College. He then moves his wife and family of four to Tampa, where he worked as a chemist at the US Phosphate Plant. In 1959, he relocated to Jacksonville, where he started his career with the Internal Revenue Service, retiring in 1981.
Bill was a fierce competitor and avid handball player at the YMCA and prided himself in beating much younger players, well into his 80s. He’ll be remembered as a very charitable, loving and kind man.
Father Bill Esposito, Syracuse, NY.
Father Bill Esposito (82), was born in 1933 and ordained a priest in 1958. A man among men, he listened, he helped, he cared and he always had time for anyone from any walk of life. Bill was active in the community, ran in the Boston Marathon, skied, swam, loved golf, but as a fierce competitor he enjoyed handball and the close friends he developed as a result. He had a great deal of influence on those he played with, including a cleaner vocabulary on his court of competition. A staph infection took him but he will be missed and remembered for his highest of standards and dedication to his beliefs, family, church and life. And his impact on handball in Syracuse will remain.