"Baba, what for you want to go out and eat? Here you have the best food in the world with the best people." The best people and the best food-- that is how Domingo felt about his family and the amazing food his beloved wife Linda prepared for everyone.
Born in Chamelecon, Honduras, and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine Domingo Handal was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He met the instant love of his life, Linda, and they married at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, or as he referred to it, Jesus's Town. While trading imports and exports, he, Linda, and their growing family lived and traveled in Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan. Each of their children was born in a different country. His business eventually led him to New York City, and finally to Jersey City, NJ where he established a deli and neighborhood ice cream parlor, the latter of which became a permanent fixture on Central Avenue for more than 40 years.
Domingo's passion and commitment to community are perhaps best exemplified through his integral roles as a founding member and leader of two causes very near and dear to his heart-- Jersey City's Central Avenue Special Improvement District, and the Bethlehem Association. In Jersey City he was known as the "Godfather of Central Avenue" and "Baba" to many, earning his seat as a community legend. Together, Domingo and Linda devoted over 30 years on the board of the Bethlehem Association, a charitable organization that supports the communities of Bethlehem.
He and Linda eventually bought their 'forever' home in Totowa and filled it with love, laughter, and delicious food, which attracted a revolving door of friends and family who were always drawn to the "yellow house on top of the hill", as often called "The Handal Hotel." Domingo lived a full and authentic life, and connected with people in ways they would always remember -- whether family, friends, customers, or neighbors.
He was generous, mischievously quick-witted, funny, and always ready for a dance-off or a push-up contest. His integrity was unshakable, and while he had much to boast about, he never once indulged. He and Linda instilled these traits in their children and grandchildren -- there is not one of his descendants that can say they weren't shaped, in one way or another, by his and Linda's guidance and love. For those that were there to shape you, never truly leave you.
Domingo will forever be remembered by his five devoted children, Vida and her husband Samir Handal, Vera and her husband Nassib Faris, Florence and her husband Pierre Fersa, David and his wife Michelle Handal, and Christine Handal; 13 loving grandchildren, Sanielle, Ramzi, John, Renee, Nicole, Kristina, Ramie, Alex, Andre, Gabriella, Anthony, Andrew, Michael; and his five great-granddaughters, Alia, Maggie, Loretta, Theodora, and Nora. He is now reunited in heaven with his beloved wife, Linda, and his siblings Kamal and Shafique. Domingo is survived by his siblings, George, Elaine, and Olga.
He always believed in leaving something better than you found it, and that is exactly what he did.
The family will be accepting condolences on this website. Please share any thoughts or special memories of Domingo.
Due to Covid, the family decided not to have visiting at the funeral home for the safety of family and friends.
A Funeral Mass will be offered on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10 AM at Our Lady of Pompeii, 154 Caldwell Avenue, Paterson, NJ. Following mass, Domingo will be laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and Mausoleum in Totowa. For the safety of all, the family asks that everyone who attends social distances. Please note that there will be limited seating capacity at Our Lady of Pompeii for the funeral mass.
To honor Domingo and Linda's passion and hard work within the Bethlehem Association, in lieu of flowers please consider a gift to:
PO Box 1111
Media, PA 19063
Please make check to Bethlehem Association Scholarship Fund. In memo line of check please write "In memory of Domingo Handal."