July 20, 1962 — January 26, 2018
QUEENSBURY — Kenneth C. Hand, 55, a resident of Queensbury, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 at Glens Falls Hospital, following a courageous battle with bile duct cancer.
Ken was born on July 20, 1962 in New York City and was the son of Mary B. Hand and the late Kenneth L. Hand of Demarest, New Jersey.
Ken graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, New Jersey and Siena College in Loudonville, with a Bachelor of Science in economics. Ken also earned an Army ROTC Scholarship, and following graduation, he started his career in the United States Army. He attended flight school in Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he learned to fly Th-55a and UH-1H helicopters. He was stationed at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, Aviation Division VIP Unit, where he flew UH-1H and Bell 206 helicopters and learned desert flying. He transitioned to the 2nd Platoon 507th Medevac, where he flew numerous air ambulance and search and rescue missions in the EL Paso, Texas area. He was awarded the Army Commendation medal and Army Achievement medal for a life-saving air mission. At the time of discharge from the military, Ken had earned the rank of Captain.
Ken’s flying career continued with Petroleum Helicopters, where he flew to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and as Chief Pilot for the El Paso Police Department, flying Hughes 269a, Cessna 182 and Cessna 310R aircraft. During this time, Ken also became a fixed wing flight instructor.
Ken started his airline career as a First Officer/Captain for Mohawk Airlines in Syracuse, followed by Commutair/USAIR Express based in Plattsburgh, flying Beech 99 and 1900s. In 1998, he was hired by United Parcel Service, where he became a DC-8 Flight Engineer and then First Officer, flying 757 and 767 airplanes. In May of 2014, he achieved his dream of becoming a Captain at UPS. Ken retired from UPS in January 2018 due to his illness. He always felt privileged to be part of the UPS family and cherished the relationships that he built with his fellow pilots and UPS staff.
Ken truly loved his wife and family and was a very special, caring, loving, devoted husband and father. Even when he was flying around the country, he always took the time to stay in constant touch with his family and was never far away. He could always be found volunteering at the school or attending one of his kids sporting events. Ken took an active interest in the lives of his family and friends. He would always go out of his way to offer guidance and support and would frequently visit friends and family across the country. Ken was a communicant of Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, where he served as Eucharistic Minister at Glens Falls Hospital. He was also a proud blood donor, avid coin and military medal collector as well as a music enthusiast.
Besides his father, Ken is predeceased by his father-in-law, James Nichols; and sister-in-law, Kathleen Conti.
Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Mary E. (Nichols) Hand of Queensbury; his five children, Kenneth J. Hand of Houston, Texas, Catherine E. Hand of New York City, Stephanie R. Hand of Queensbury, Christina N. Hand of Queensbury and Danielle M. Hand of Queensbury; his mother, Mary B. Hand of New Jersey; brother, Timothy M. Hand (Julia) of New Jersey; sister, Regina M. Briseno (Robert) of California; mother-in-law, Catherine Nichols of Queensbury; brothers-in-law, James Nichols (Susan) of Washingtonville, Robert Nichols (Mary) of Mayfield and Stephen Nichols of Queensbury; and sister-in-law, Patricia Rankin (Rory) of Texas. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins who loved him dearly.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church, Aviation Road, Queensbury.
Burial will follow with full military honors at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.
Calling hours are scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Regan Denny Stafford Funeral Home, 53 Quaker Road, Queensbury.
Memorial donations may be made to the Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) Foundation in Herriman, Utah at www.gofundme.com/find-the-cure-for-bile-duct-cancer or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
The Hand family would like to thank their entire family, friends and neighbors, United Parcel Service, Glens Falls Hospital Tower 2, Emergency Department, C.R. Wood Cancer Center, Dr. Stoutenburg and staff, the Adirondack Northstars and a special thanks to Mickie Baez and the Rizzo family for their support and friendship.
For those who wish, a special remembrance may be made to the family by visiting www.sbfuneralhome.com.