Elizabeth ‘B.A.’ Hand, 89, Real Estate Agent, Active Volunteer, Loved Gardening and Sailing

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B.A. Hand, 89, died peacefully on May 15 near her loving family in Norwalk.

Elizabeth B.A. Hand obit

Elizabeth “B.A.” Hand, 89, died on May 15. Her funeral will be on June 6.

Born Feb. 21, 1930 in Utica, New York and raised in Norwich, New York, she was the eldest of two daughters born to Dorothy J. and Carl E. Fribley. Her father was an owner of Benedict Cadillac Corporation and past president of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

B.A attended Vassar College and graduated with an English degree in 1951. As a class officer and reunion chair, she was an active member of the Vassar Alumnae Association for over 65 years, and maintained lifelong friendships with her college classmates.

— an obituary from Edward Lawrence Funeral Home

Upon leaving college, she married her first husband, Albert G. Hartigan, and moved to New York City for five years, where she was an editor at McCall’s magazine. The Hartigans moved to Rowayton and then Darien to raise their four children.

While juggling the demands of child-rearing, B.A. undertook graduate studies in social work at Fairfield University. She was involved in numerous volunteer activities with the Children’s Aid Society, A Better Chance, and Person-to-Person.

She also became a licensed, professional real estate agent, and had a long career that began at Kelsey Brown Sherwood and continued with Country Living Associates, where for many years she won awards as a top broker.

Her second marriage was to Bayard “Dick” R. Hand, with whom she spent 26 happy years living on Brush Island in Darien — a home that was host to many large parties and celebrations — including the Annual Connecticut Democratic Party Lobster Bake, Norwalk’s Miracle Temple Church retreats, and extended family Labor Day weekend tennis tournaments.

B.A. was in her element on Brush Island — rising early to use her prolific gardening skills to plant beautiful flowers and rock gardens. The Hands also enjoyed sailing at the nearby Noroton Yacht Club.

B.A. was a life-long learner, who embraced every day fully. She studied French, was an avid reader and member of the Novel Bunch book group, and took the train regularly into the city for New York Philharmonic concerts and Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibits.

She travelled extensively, worked part-time until age 80, and was a devoted member of Saint Luke’s Church and Altar Guild. She loved to sing, and was an excellent cook. B.A. cherished her family, and treasured her many wonderful friends. Her life was blessed.

She is survived by her four children: Deborah Rowland-Caplan of New Canaan; Sarah G. Hartigan of Darien; Charles F. Hartigan and his wife, Barbara, of Naples, Florida; and Albert G. Hartigan, Jr. and his wife, Sarah, of Darien.

She also is survived by her three grandchildren: Niles Rowland and his wife, Jordan, of Ashburn, Virginia; Peter Hartigan, of Darien and Burlington, Vermont; and Annabel Hartigan of Darien. B.A. was predeceased by her beloved sister, Deborah Fribley de Cordova, of Poughkeepsie and Millbrook, New York.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 6 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the “Friends of Music”, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820.

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