Celebration, FL – Leonard F. Hand, 60, passed away in Celebration, FL, on Friday, February 5, 2010.
Lenny was born in Racine on May 1, 1949, to Leonard and Rose (nee: Sahagian) Hand. He married Janice Braun at St. Edward Catholic Church on March 25, 1972.
Long-time AFSCME activist Lenny Hand was chosen as the 2009 Labor Person of the Year by Racine Area Labor Festivals, Inc. The award was presented to Lenny by Wisconsin AFL-CIO Pres. David Newby at Labor Day festivities in Racine.
Lenny joined his first union right out of high school, when he joined UAW Local 553 while working at Racine Steel/Belle City Malleable, where his mother Rose had already established a long history of union leadership.
He joined AFSCME Local 2239 when he went to work for the city of Racine. He served as the charter president of his local from 1971 to 1975.
In the mid-1970s, he became a member of AFSCME Local 67, where he held numerous positions over the years including Steward, Secretary, Vice President and President.
Lenny also is a past President of Racine’s AFL-CIO and of the Racine Labor Paper, during the come-back years when making up a deficit was a do-or-die responsibility.
In 2009, Lenny received the Racine County Democratic Party’s Jimmy Arena Award in recognition of his work on behalf of the party’s democratic principles. With his wife, Janice, he received the 2008 Racine County Mr. & Mrs. Solidarity Award.
Over the past year, Lenny has been equally busy, serving in a variety of roles in and for Racine, including Chair of AFSCME Retirees’ Sub-Chapter 133; 1st CD Chair for AFSCME Council 40 PEOPLE; member, Wisconsin Employee Trust Fund Coalition of Annuitants; Vice President, Racine County Democratic Party; and Treasurer, Racine Area Labor Festivals, Inc.
Lenny is survived by his wife, Janice Hand; brother, Joseph Hand; sisters, Becky Hand and Noreen (Doug) Cobb; brothers in law, Romuald (Betty) Braun, Bernard (Laverne) Braun and Joseph (Bonnie) Braun; and sister in law, Elizabeth (Les) Richards. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. Lenny was preceded in death by his parents; brother John Hand; brothers in law, John and Gregory Braun; mother and father-in-law, Martin and Eleanor Braun; and maternal grandparents, Alexander and Ahavni “Ann” Sahagian.
A service of remembrance for Lenny will be held at the West Lawn Memorial Park Chapel on Saturday, February 13, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. followed by entombment. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home this Friday evening from 5 until 8 p.m.
Purath-Strand Funeral Home and Crematory
3915 Douglas Ave., Racine (262) 639-8000