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Obituary for Lela Jean (McBride) Brockway Tindle

Lela Jean (McBride) Brockway Tindle, 86, died April 26, 2017 at her daughter’s home in Emporia, Kansas.
Lela was born August 5, 1930 in New Albany, Kansas the daughter of Weldon Lee and Mary Edyth (McCray) McBride and was named Lela in honor of her Dad’s twin sister who was killed in Brest, France during WWI. She was preceded in death by her three brothers Robert Lee, William Moses, and John Weldon, and a sister, Twila Maralee. Maralee died at the age of two, leaving Lela without the companionship and comfort of a sister in her later years.
Lela’s first employment after high school was with the Aerosol plant north of Fredonia. In October, 1948 she began work as a bookkeeper at the State Bank of Fredonia and it was there that she met her first husband, Frank Eugene “Gene” Brockway. Gene and Lela were married on June 18, 1949 and remained married until Gene’s death on January 20, 1968. They had four children: Larry Eugene, Lori Marie, Marilee Susan (deceased), and Paul Weldon. Lela and Gene worked at the State Bank until August 1952 when they purchased the Jake Kenney Insurance Agency and created Brockway Insurance and Real Estate Agency in Fredonia.
On April 11, 1969 Lela married Thomas Roy “Tom” Tindle and learned a new trade, construction, as she worked alongside her husband as manager for Tindle Construction. They remained married until Tom’s death on December 5, 1980, which was just six weeks after Lela lost her daughter Marilee, who died in a car accident on October 28, 1980. At the age of 50, Lela had lost two husbands and a daughter.
Throughout her life, Lela was an assembly line worker, bookkeeper, insurance agent, manager of Tindle Construction Co, helper in the Tindle Orchard, newspaper employee, free-lance author, and historian…a true “Jack of all trades.” Her greatest writing accomplishments include: “Escape” (screen play for CBS series “The Great Adventure” April, 1964); 100 year history of the State Bank of Fredonia (August,1985); “M.E. McCray, M.D. and New Albany Where He Practiced” (September, 1986); Wilson County, Kansas “People of the South Wind” (November, 1987); and “Opothleyaholo and the Loyal Muskogee: Their Flight to Kansas in the Civil War” (May, 2000).
For 66 years Lela lived in the Brockway family home that was built in 1928 on the historic West Mound, west of Fredonia. She raised her four children in the home and spoiled and “educated” her grandchildren during movie nights on the hill. She baked bread, fermented ingredients for Friendship cakes, simmered cauldrons of homemade vegetable soup, made mounds of her famous fudge and peanuts clusters and conducted countless hours of research all in the family kitchen. She was always proud of living on West Mound for so long and was lovingly known by many as the “old lady on the hill.”
In addition to her parents, siblings, husbands, and a daughter, Lela was also preceded in death by her “favorite son-in-law” Larry Dice and her beloved grandson John David.
She is survived by her son Larry Brockway and his wife Janie of Fredonia, Ks; daughter Lori Brockway of Emporia, KS; and son Paul Brockway and his wife Becky of Kansas City, Missouri. She will be remembered by her 13 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren as the “Christmas Candy Grandma.”
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Christian Church of Fredonia. In lieu of flowers, suggested donations can be made to the M.E. McCray, M.D. and Lela J. (McBride) Brockway Tindle Memorial Scholarship Fund and they may mailed or left at Wickham Family Funeral Home, 510 N. 7th, Fredonia, Kansas 66736.


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Previous Events

Memorial Service

Saturday

6

May

11:00 AM
First Christian Church

303 N. 7th
Fredonia, Kansas 66736


Memorial Contribution

M.E. McCray, M.D. and Lela J. (McBride) Brockway Tindle Memorial Scholarship Fund

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