The Heroines

Barbara Lindsley

is honored with a Large Paver from Mr. and Mrs. Jim Albright, Dr. and Mrs. John Albright, Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Bickley, John Bickley, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Callen, R.K. Edmiston, Dr. and Mrs. Herbert M. Lindsley, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Lindsley, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Massey, Dr. and Mrs. Phil McKnight, Mr. and Mrs. Rob McKnight, Susan V. McKnight, Mr. and Mrs. Walt Rising, Barbara B. Segraves, Mr. and Mrs. Steven C. Woods, and Mr. and Mrs. Dick Yetke.

 Barbara  Lindsley It didn't happen by design. Six families moved to the 200 block on North Terrace in Wichita, KS during the 1940s and early 1950s. What started as "new neighbors" became six women and their families who developed lifelong friendships. The sixteen children grew up in a loving, nurturing, and secure extended family. The relationship grew close enough that we had six mothers and fathers whom we affectionately called "aunt and uncle." They were always there to support each others family... during the many fun times, as well as the times of pain and sorrow. Collectively, our memories of those years are countless and vivid. We honor our six mothers as heroines who were such a significant part of our lives as children and as adults. These six heroines... Mary Albright, Jane Bickley, Kathlien Edmiston, Barbara Lindsley, Margaret McKnight, and Arline Rising... taught us, through their lives and friendship, the true meaning of caring and love.

Barbara was born to Roland and Norma Benzinger on July 1, 1914 in Erie, PA. Following a childhood, which included her younger sister, in Salem, OH, she graduated in 1935 from Sweet Briar College in VA with a BS in Science. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 1937 with a MS in Bacteriology. She also met Herbert Piper Lindsley, who was obtaining a masters degree at the Wharton School of Business. Following graduation, Herb worked in New York City at Northwestern Mutual Life and Barbara returned home to establish a bacteriology lab for the Salem Hospital. On December 31, 1938, they were married and moved to Herb's hometown of Wichita, KS.

Soon after their first son, Bart, was born in 1940, Barbara and Herb moved to 230 North Terrace, which became their home for 55 years. Twin sons, David and Philip, were born in 1942 (now deceased); daughter Kitchel, in 1943; and son Tom, in 1945.

Barbara and Herb were strong advocates of volunteerism throughout their lives. They believed that it was important to "give back" to Wichita in appreciation for all that Wichita provided them. Barbara served on several community boards (such as the Camp Fire Girls, Family Consultation, Community Planning Council, U.S.O., the United Fund, Friends of the Wichita Public Library, Town Talks, and Project Beauty) and was active in Boy Scouts, the Junior League of Wichita, and Plymouth Congregational Church. However, it was her role as mother and help-mate to Herb that gave her the greatest pleasure. She actively supported her interests in the Symphony, the fine arts, theatre, reading, and especially traveling. But, it was the activities that involved her children, and her friend's children, that captured her heart. Barbara was always there. The house was never locked and any of the children could come in and out at will. Knitting classes; providing supplies for the model train board; attending ball games and recitals; cookies; and a "million" other nurturing moments and activities for her Terrace Drive children were her life. Her interest and support of "her nieces and nephews" continued on into their adulthood, no matter that they were scattered all over the country.

Two words have been used over and over to describe what Barbara meant to many: unconditional love. She wholeheartedly believed the best in each one of her own and extended families. This unconditional love was returned with affection and caring. Once her own children had "left the nest," she concentrated and devoted more time to helping Herb in his insurance business, "co-piloting" on flying adventures, and community activities until his death in 1991. Barbara died on December 27, 1996, leaving behind a legacy for us all.

Submitted by her children Bart Lindsley, Kitchel Lindsley Woods, and Tom Lindsley. (See also Mary Albright, Jane Bickley, Kathlien Edmiston, Margaret McKnight, and Arline Rising.)

September 12, 1998