Joan (Handley) Atwell

March 5, 1954 ~ September 25, 2020 (age 66)


     Joan P. (Handley) Atwell, 66, of Middlefield passed away on September 25th, 2020 with her son, daughter, and sisters at her side at Middlesex Hospital. She was born to the late Harold and Sarah Handley on March 5th, 1954. Joan graduated from Coginchaug Regional High School in 1972 and married her high school sweetheart Bob on September 15th, 1973. Joan loved her town and she and Bob purchased Joan’s childhood home in 1978 where they would raise their own family. Joan had been employed by Lyman Gunsight, the Lyman Apple Barrel, and most recently by Regional School District #13 after being in food service for over 20 years there. For Joan, her family was everything and the best job of all was being a stay at home mom until her children were in middle school. Joan was an honorary member of the Durham Fair and served on the baking and souvenir committees. She also served on the board of the Durham Fair Foundation for many years, as well as on numerous other boards and committees in Middlefield, Durham, and through her church. She particularly loved working on projects for the United Churches of Durham’s Christmas Bazaar. Joan loved to bake and quilt, making quilts for numerous family members over the years.

     In addition to her parents, Joan was predeceased by her husband, Bishop R. Atwell, III by 9 days, as well as siblings Richard Handley, Robert Handley, and Judith Halford. Joan leaves behind her sisters Karen Brown of Middletown and Beth Priestley of New Hampshire, as well as mother in law Margaret (Peg) Atwell of Durham, and sister in law Joanne Peterson of Rockfall. Deeply saddened by the loss of both parents so close together are daughter Sarah Atwell and husband Michael Kudrak of Middletown and son Jesse Atwell and wife Caitlin of Rockfall. Joan’s days were always brightened when spending time with her grandson Robert Kudrak and her family rarely saw her smile more than when he was in her arms. Joan also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. Joan’s family wishes to extend their thanks and gratitude to the staff on the Critical Care Unit and Comfort Care Unit at Middlesex Hospital for everything they did for Joan and her family during her time there.

     Family and friends may call on Monday, September 28th from 5:00-6:00pm at Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street, Middletown. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, September 29th at 10:00am in the Middlefield Cemetery, 402 Main Street, Middlefield. All are open to friends and family as long as masks are in use and COVID precautions are in place. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Joan’s name can be made to the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department at 406 Jackson Hill Rd, Middlefield, CT 06455 or to Middlesex Health’s Hospice Program at Middlesex Health, Office of Philanthropy, 28 Crescent St, Middletown, CT 06457.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan (Handley) Atwell, please visit our floral store.


September 28, 2020

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Doolittle Funeral Home
14 Old Church Street
Middletown, CT 06457

Graveside Service
September 29, 2020

10:00 AM
Middlefield Cemetery
402 Main Street
Middlefield, ct 06455

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