Helen I. Tindell (1929-2022)
Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 5/20/2022 at 16:07:05
When I die, please bury me
Beneath a shading lilac tree
In summer fragrant flowers will spread
Across the mound that is my bed….”
Excerpt from “Death Wish”
By: Helen I. Tindell
Shullsburg, WI – Our mother died Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington, WI. Our loss and our grief is profound! Mom’s story begins on August 14, 1929, in the idyllic town of Poteau, OK. Born to Claude McKenzie and Thelma (Griffith) McKenzie, she was given the name Helen Ilene McKenzie.
Mom’s dad died when she was 3 months old. Knowing that he was dying he rocked his baby girl day and night as he sang to her “The Streets of Laredo.”
After her father’s death, mom went to live with the McKenzie family where she loved and was loved in return by Aunt Sarah and her “Clan.”
When mom was 12, her birth mother remarried, and mom moved to Kansas to live with them. But she spent every summer in Poteau with the McKenzie’s.
Mom was an exceptional student and writer of poetry (some of which were published), extremely independent and very much a believer in Democracy and the USA. Love of country led her to leave college in her second year to join the Air Force. It was there that she met and married our dad – Keith Tindell on October 17, 1950 at Selfride Air Force Base in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.
From this union seven children were born – one of whom died in infancy. A loss from which mom never fully recovered.
Mom had a wide variety of interests and things she didn’t like. In her own words:
“I like plants and flowers, indoors and out, My favorite flower is the rose, and favorite color is blue. I like to garden, read good books, garage sales, collecting bric-a-brac, jigsaw puzzles, classical music, good rock-n-roll, birds, fish, animals (outdoors), snow, fishing, small towns, buses and trains, Christmas most years, world history, and the USA. I like to travel if I don’t have to fly, and I like sorting clothes at St. Vincent de Paul.
I do not like housework, fancy cooking, lawn mowing, shopping for clothes, driving a car, mean and bratty kids, snakes, rats, airplanes, and the loss of independence through aging. My best quality is that I love my children and grandchildren, always.”
Loved ones that will now greet her with open arms and hearts are her parents, Claude Mckenzie and Themla Simanowitz, step-father, James Simanowitz, infant son, Jeffrey Tindell, son, Mark Tindell, her beloved aunt Sarah and uncle Lee Dodson and her in-laws, Harry and Dora Tindell.
We, her children, Deb (Rick) Doyle, Laura Albright, Tony Tindell, Harry Tindell and Steve Tindell will continue to live mom's legacy of love.
Mom, we promise that your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know your story as history and family is so very important to you. We also promise to instill in them your love of education and poetry and will share with them the beautiful poetry you have penned.
This is not good-bye, Mom, this is a thank you. Thank you for being our mother, for loving us and for creating so many beautiful memories to carry us through the years until we are together again. We love you, always. So you see, Mom’s story is never-ending.
Arrangements are being handled by Erickson Funeral Home in Shullsburg. The family will receive friends on Monday, May 23, 2022 from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Erickson Funeral Home (235 N. Judgement St., Shullsburg). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church (344 N. Judgement St., Shullsburg) with Fr. Peter Lee officiating. Family and friends may call from 10:00 A.M. until the time of services at the church. Burial will be in St. Matthew’s Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
For those who prefer, a memorial fund has been established in Helen’s name.
Dubuque Obituaries maintained by Constance McCaniel Hall.
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