Joan Fields Handy, 91, of Portsmouth, passed away on Monday, January 16, 2017 at Silver Creek Nursing Home in Bristol, R.I. She was the wife of the late Frank E. Handy for 71 years. Born on March 9, 1925 in Bluefield, VA, she was the daughter of the late Jack C. Fields and Clara Belle (Stevens) Fields.

Mrs. Handy graduated from National Business College in Roanoke, VA. She was the captain of her basketball team in high school and college. She danced, played the clarinet and drums and sang with “The Five Keys” on the radio and solo at events. She was in her High School Glee Club, band, Girls Reserve, Sub Deb Club of Virginia and received the Presidential Aerobic Award. She was also past president of the Newport County Woman’s Club, member of the Tiverton Garden Club, the Tiverton Yacht Club, the Newport Athletic Club and received the Newport Hospital Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2006.

Mrs. Handy had been secretary to the Major of Post Engineers in Camp Pickett, VA, secretary to Dr. Louis B. Curd in Roanoke, VA and worked with the American Sail Training Association in Newport, RI. She also worked on the Tall Ships Program, was a member of the order of the Eastern Star, and the Bethlehem Chapter #15 in Crew, Virginia. She was an active church member all her life and was presently a member of the United Congregational Church in Middletown, R.I. She loved her church and her “extended family” there.

She loved gardening, volunteering, racing her sunfish, para-sailing, her Chablis wine, crab cakes, key lime pie, Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor and the Big Bands. Joan and Frank traveled extensively. She started to decline when her husband passed away in July. She is finally at peace and with him, which is what she wanted.

She is survived by two daughters, Karen Carneal of Tiverton, R.I. and Kelly Mott and her husband David of Holland, MA, two grandsons, Christopher John Carneal of Los Angeles, CA, and Derek Mott and his wife Jennifer of Holland, MA, a granddaughter Courtney Mott of Charlton, MA and a great granddaughter Delia Mott.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February, 25, 2017, at 11:00 AM, at the United Congregational Church, 524 Valley Road Middletown, R.I.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the United Congregational Church Memorial Fund, 524 Valley Road, Middletown, RI 02842, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #5390, 822 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871, or the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, 2900 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.