Robert A. Handelman (Bob)

October 21, 1940 ~ March 8, 2022 (age 81)



Bob Handelman, beloved family man, business owner and community leader, as well as friend to many, passed away on March 8, 2022. Diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2015, Bob died at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX where he was enrolled in a clinical trial.

Born in Maywood, Illinois on October 21, 1940, to Julius and Rose (Slattery) Handelman, Bob grew up in Chicago and nearby Wheaton. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1962 and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron in 1970. His affiliation with the university lasted throughout his lifetime and included the funding of scholarships, and being President of the Engineering College Advancement Council at The University of Akron.

Mr. Handelman founded the Chemstress Consultant Company in Akron in 1965, when he was 25 years old. Chemstress designs and builds industrial facilities throughout the country. As founder, CEO and super salesman, Bob headed Chemstress for 55 years, retiring in the spring of 2021 as Chairman. He often remarked that he loved being an engineer, as his profession allowed him to “participate in shaping the future.” He was a registered Professional Engineer in 11 states.

A member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity for more than 60 years, Bob was inducted into Tau Beta Pi engineering honors fraternity in 1992. Other professional recognitions included: Elected as Member Fellow Grade of the Local & National American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2013 Stellar Performer Award presented by Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, Outstanding Alumni Award - University of Akron Engineering College, Initial Co-Recipient, Alumni Honor Award - University of Akron, Eagle Award for Business Executive of the Year - First National Bank of Ohio (First Merit), Distinguished Award of Council - Akron Council of Engineers & Scientific Societies (ACESS), and Akron Chemical Engineer of the Year, Initial recipient.

Business and civic involvements were also part of Bob’s life. He was President of the Special Improvement District for downtown Akron, Ohio. A founding member of the concept in 1996. Bob supported the Akron Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Akron General Hospital-Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation program.

Bob and his wife Margaret loved to travel for business and pleasure. They visited every continent but Antarctica, touring, meeting and befriending locals and absorbing the cultures of countries throughout the world. Bob was inducted into the Entonneurs Rabelaisiens, a wine society in France.

Family was very important to Bob. He encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue their dreams and enjoy challenging careers. Preceded in death by his beloved parents, he is survived by his wife, Margaret; daughters: Julie Wesel, Susan Masturzo, Sheryl Loudon, Lisa Jones (Jeffrey) and Leslie Lopes (Kevin) and by stepchildren Hilary and Michael Junewicz. Bob is also survived by ten grandchildren: Ethan and Jason Wesel; Bradley, Mallory and Evelyn Masturzo; Jacob and Carter Loudon; Alex Jones and Dylan and Kelsey Lopes.Bob never met a stranger and was very generous with his time and support to countless individuals who considered him a mentor, friend, or second father.

Calling hours will be from 3-8 pm on Friday, March 18 at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Rd., Fairlawn, OH. Mass of Christian Burial 10 am Saturday, March 19 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 1905 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Burial Services will be private.

In consideration of the family’s concerns about health issues, please wear a face covering and consider testing before attending.

We must be content to know that we were blessed to have had Bob in our lives. We can honor these blessings by emulating his drive to make the world a better place and his energetic devotion to helping others. In lieu of flowers, please consider performing an act of kindness in Bob’s way: a visit, a call, a kind word.

Our family is very grateful to the medical providers and the science that gave us the last seven years with Bob. Please consider a donation in Bob’s memory to:

Mantle Cell Lymphoma Research – Michael Wang, M.D. MD Anderson Cancer Center 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Houston, TX 77030




To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert, please visit our floral store.


March 18, 2022

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ciriello-Carr Memorial Home
39 S. Miller Rd
Fairlawn, OH 44333

Mass of Christian Burial
March 19, 2022

10:00 AM
Immaculate Heart of Mary
1905 Portage Tr
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

© 2022 Ciriello-Carr Memorial Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility