The People's Tribune

Mary Lee Tinsley

Mary Lee Brown Tinsley died at her home in Cyrene Sunday, June 17, 2018.

She had moved to her daughter Gail’s home late in 2017 after surviving a stroke, and has been cared for by her and her granddaughter, Megan.

She was born May 2, 1931 to Leslie Lee and Lula Mae Thomas Brown in Cyrene, and married Herbert “Spot” Spotsworth Tinsley on Dec. 29, 1950 at Cyrene Baptist Church. She attended school at Cyrene and graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1949. She has been a member of Cyrene Baptist Church since 1947.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, H.S. (Spot) Tinsley; a daughter, Kathy Tinsley; sons-in-law, Ron (Gail) Rutter and Terry (Elaine) Griffith; mother and father; sisters-in-law, Doris (Bev) Riedel, Eleanor (Al) Moore, Madeline (Jimmy) Tinsley, and Dorothy (Huckstep Brown) Tinsley; mother- and father-in-law, Nancy O. and Herbert S. Tinsley; and brothers-in-laws, Jimmy Tinsley, Bev Riedel, and Al Moore.

Their children are Elaine Griffith and husband, Terry of Owensville; Gail Rutter and husband, Ron of Cyrene, Kathy Tinsley, and Jean Ledford and husband, Mark of Cyrene. She is also survived by a brother, Phil Brown and wife, Mary Emma of Cyrene and their family, and nephew, Herb Tinsley and wife, Dolly and their family of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Mary Lee has six grandchildren, Scott Griffith and Erin Butler (Elaine), Benjamin Ledford and Katlyn Ervin (Jean), Lyndse Green and Megan Rutter (Gail) as well as two step-grandchildren, Mike Rutter and Christina Johnson (deceased); and great-grandchildren, total 10, with the addition of two more this year.

Mary Lee lived her entire life in Pike County, except when, newly married. She and Spot lived in Fayette, N.C., while he was serving in the United States Army at Fort Bragg, N.C. While there, she worked at a dry cleaner and made some life-long friends. Fresh out of high school, she worked at the Bowling Green Times office.

Upon returning from North Carolina, Mary Lee and Spot bought his family’s farm, and began their family. This farm is now a sixth generation family farm. While Cyrene had a post office, she worked there sorting mail. She also was a voting poll volunteer. She was always a Sunday school and vacation bible school teacher, very active in church activities. After her husband (the church treasurer since 1962) passed in 2005, she took up the position until the last few years, and their daughter, Jean has acted as the assistant treasurer.

She was one of a quartet, singing for friends’ and families’ funerals in the area with Clareta Tinsley, Dorothy Bibb, and Betty O’Donel singing and playing piano or organ. In later years she would sing duets with her daughter, Jean.

In 1995, Mary Lee, Spot, and Kathy all moved off the farm and moved to Pike County Road 43, were she lived until 2013. Then, she moved to an apartment in Bowling Green and lived there until 2017.

Her life wish was to be a mom – a good mom. Her family thinks she accomplished this in aces. She always put in a large, beautiful garden; canned fruits and vegetables, raised chickens, sewed many, many clothes including wedding party and concert choir gowns for her children, and crocheting was a great pleasure to her, until arthritis took her out of the game.

She was a great cook, one you compared others’ cooking to. She was generous, kind, and a loving Christian mom. She had many friends and was known by many people in the community. She will be missed by family and many others who loved her.

Visitation was at Bibb-Veach Funeral Home in Bowling Green Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. Visitation was held at 9 a.m., Thursday at the Cyrene Baptist Church until time of service. Services began at 10 a.m., at the church, with burial at the Antioch Cemetery with the Rev. Bob Hoehn and the Rev. Clay Boley officiants. Music was provided by Janet Bibb.

Pallbearers were Clarence Frazier, Mark and Benjamin Ledford, Aaron Ervin, Scott Griffith, and Mike Rutter.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kathy Tinsley Memorial Scholarship Fund at HNB Bank, Pike County Hospice, Antioch Cemetery Association, or Cyrene Baptist Church.

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