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John Franklin LINDLEY (South Dakota)

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John Franklin LINDLEY (South Dakota)

M L Girten (View posts)
Posted: 935236800000
Classification: Obituary
Chamberlain Register
Chamberlain, South Dakota (undated)

"Funeral services of John Frank Lindley, 52,
former lieutenant governor of South Dakota,
were held at 10:30 A.M. Monday from Christ Episcopal Church in Chamberlain."

"The Rev. John Vallensis officiated, assisted by the Rev. Robert Hodgen, Pierre, and Everett Jones, Ft. Thompson.

"Masonic services were held at 8 P.M. Sunday in the McColley Funeral Chapel and military rites were conducted at Riverview Cemetery Monday by the American Legion Potter Post No. 3. and Johnson-Peterson Post No. 179. The former from Chamberlain and the latter from Kennebec-Reliance.

"Mr. Lindley died at his home early Friday morning, apparently from a heart attack.

"John Franklin Lindley was born Aug. 29, 1918, at Reliance to William and Ozitte Lindley. His parents lived in Lyman County from 1900 until moving to Chamberlain in 1940.

"He attended the public schools of Reliance and received his B.A. degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1938. Following graduation from college, he worked in the general accounting office in Washington, D.C. until 1941.

"In 1941, Frank Lindley enlisted in the Army as a private. He saw combat duty in the European Theater of Operations, earning a Purple Heart, and emerged from the Army as a first lieutenant.

"Returning to South Dakota, Mr. Lindley attended the University of South Dakota School of Law, receiving his LL.B. degree in 1948 and joined the late Matt Brown in the practice of law in Chamberlain, continuing the office since that time.

"As a page boy in the state legislature, he developed an early interest in government and it continued throughout his life. In addition to service as clerk and attorney for the school district and terms as city attorney and Brule County states attorney, Mr. Lindley was state representative from Brule and Buffalo Counties from 1951 to 1953. From 1959 to 1961, he was lieutenant governor of South Dakota during the time the late Ralph Herseth was governor.

"In 1962, he announced as a candidate on the Democratic ticket for U.S. Senator. When George McGovern, then heading the Food for Peace office in Washington, D.C. resigned in April of that year, Lindley had double the number of signatures needed to file, but announced he would withhold filing to see if McGovern could file in the time remaining. When the latter was able to comply ahead of the deadline, Lindley announced his support of McGovern in a race the latter subsequently won.

"In 1964, South Dakota Democrats, in a two-to-one decision, selected John Frank Lindley as their gubernatorial candidate.

"In November of 1962, he was appointed civilian aide to the secretary of the Army, until 1964.

"He was a former state president of the Young Democrats, 1948; national committeeman, Young Democrats, 1950, and regional director of a five-state area of Young Democrats of America, 1950; state chairman of the Junior Section of the S.D. Bar Association, 1951-52; member of the Board of Bar Commissioners, 1965-68; and held many offices in the local and state bar associations.

"Mr. Lindley was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Masonic bodies, both York, Scottish rites and Shrine; OES, BPOE; American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as other civic and professional groups.

"April 4, 1952, he married Carina Kragt Smeets in Chamberlain.

"Surviving relatives, in addition to Mrs. Lindley, include his mother, Mrs. William Lindley, Chamberlain; four sons, Robin of Nemo; Philip, James and Paul, at home; two daughters, Marianne and Suzanne, at home; two sisters, Mrs. Donald (Josephine) Hamiel, Reliance; and Mrs. Robert (Iva) Fleming, Marietta, Georgia, and one grandchild.

"He was preceded in death by his father and one brother, Joseph.

"McColley Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements."


Letter to the Editor, Chamberlain Register, Chamberlain, South Dakota

"Dear Buck [editor]:

"I know that the word of the death of John Frank Lindley must have stunned the entire Chamberlain area. When the story cleared our Associated Press wire, it came as a great personal shock to me.

"Like the people of Chamberlain and its area, I too had lost a good friend.

"Although John Frank will no longer be present with his happy disposition, his friendliness and his great sense of humor, his memory will long live in the minds of all who had the privilege of knowing John Frank Lindley - and especially those who knew him as a friend.

"When I first got to know him some 20 years ago, he was Frank Lindley. Yet when I heard other people talk about John Lindley, he sounded like the same person - so it was with great relief that I found both John and Frank Lindley to be the same wonderful, generous and friendly man.

"He loved his family, his church and his work. He loved the area in which he was born and raised and loved Chamberlain and all the good things that it had to offer. He truly was a great salesman wherever he went in respect to his home community.

"He enjoyed every minute of his life and even though his death came at the early age of 52 - it can be truly said that our friend got more out of those two score and 12 years than many people who live to be four score and 12.

"It was my pleasure to have known John Frank Lindley in many roles. First as a good friend; then as a an attorney; also as a happy husband and proud father; also as a devoted worker for his church; a true politician and a great student of South Dakota politics.

"On many occasions as a newspaper writer, I came to him for background on some of the political happenings in our state. He was a great historian of those facts.

"Although on many occasions, even in his own circle of friends, he found himself in the 'political minority,' never once was he apologetic for his politics. He was proud to be a Democrat - but I can never recall him ever speaking a word of disrespect to any man who differed with him politically.

"For that matter, many of John Frank's very best friends were Republicans. I was one of those not too many years ago, many of us joined him right here in Chamberlain some ten years ago to extend our best wishes to him as he continued his efforts to get involved in South Dakota politics.

"I remember that night in the bank basement when someone called on me, my analysis of John Frank Lindley was that if he had any political faults - it was that he was indeed an 'honest politician.'

"He said what he thought - but he didn't say it unless he meant it.

"Beneath it all there was always that delightful sense of humor that was an important part of his success as a fellow man, a professional man, a political figure and a family man. He was never too busy to be friendly. He was never too busy to be thoughtful and considerate.

"Those were some of the memories which came through my mind when I read of John Frank's death on that Associated Press wire.

"But I think the simple but beautiful service in Christ Episcopal Church here Monday was more eloquent than any tribute any one could pay. People of all faiths, of all walks of life were there to pay their final respects and their final tributes of John Frank Lindley not because he was one of their faith, one of their profession or one of their political affiliation - but because he was their friend.

"I am sure that even in the sad hours being experienced by the wonderful family of John Frank, that the wonderful memories they have had of their lives together can help erase some of that sorrow.

"Words can't take that ache away, but if there is any consolation, I want them and their friends to know that those of us who were privileged to call John Frank our friend miss him very, very much.

"May God grant him eternal rest and may God in his wisdom offer the consolation his family needs in their hour of sadness."

-Les Helgeland, Executive Editor, Yankton [SD]Press and Dakotan


Editorial Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Monday April 26, 1971

John F. Lindley was a distinguished South Dakotan who contributed much during his active career to the cause of good government. He participated freely in many campaigns. He served as a member of the legislature and as lieutenant governor.

though he was a Democrat, he was by no means an ardent partisan. It was much more of his inclination to evaluate an issue on its basic merit rather than its party origin. In consequence, he was frequently in disagreement with the established leadership of his own party and not hesitant to express his views. throughout his life, he was a close student of state government -- an interest that stemmed back to early years when he was a page in a legislative assembly. He dreamed then about what he might or could do in public office and sought in later years to make his ideas into realities.

His death came early in life -- he was only 52 years old when he died -- but he packed into those years a tremendous volume of constructive service to his native state."

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