First Responders 04


December 26, 1940 ~ March 4, 2022 (age 81)


Larry Wayne Lindley 81 of Neoga, Illinois passed away in his residence Friday, March 4, 2022.  
 He was a former Neoga Volunteer Fireman, he served 3 terms on the Neoga City Council, was a  member of the Class Pack Car Club in Neoga, IL, Cumberland County Farm Bureau, Mattoon Eagles Club, Patriots Marching Color Guard, Mattoon American Legion, Mattoon V.F.W. and the NRA.
  Larry is survived by his wife, Katie Lindley of Neoga, IL: sons, Curtis Lindley of Toledo, IL, Brian Lindley (Dana) of Neoga, IL and Jeff Curry (Christy) of Alma, IL; grandchildren, Taylor and Dane Curry and Lucas Curry, Nicholas and Andrew Lindley and Bryce Lindley: great grandchildren Reece Lindley and Hazel Lindley: brothers, Rex Lindley (Karen) of Neoga, IL, Jerry Lindley (Virginia) of Mattoon, IL and Dan Lindley of Neoga, IL; sisters, Marge Hume (Jerry) of Ontario, CA, Doris Armbruster of Ontario, CA and Karla Sylvester of Neoga, IL; multiple nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Morton & Nora Wright Lindley; brothers, David Lindley and James Lindley; sister, Letha Smith.  Memorials are suggested to the family C/O Katie Lindley 470 E. 5th  Neoga, IL 62447.   
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 11:00 AM, with visitation one hour before, in the Swengel - O'Dell Funeral Home in Neoga, IL.  Visitation will be Wednesday, March 9, 2022 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM also in the funeral home.
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December 26, 1940 - March 4, 2022
In a little house on 5th Street in Neoga, Larry Wayne Lindley was born at home on the day after Christmas, December 26, 1940, to Jesse Morton & Nora Wright Lindley. Mom Lindley said she didn't want to ruin Christmas for the other kids by having a baby that day! So she waited till the next day! The 7th of their 10 children, he never strayed too far. When he went out on his own he moved 3 houses down the street and never moved again. Actually he hardly ever left Neoga, but that's ok. It's been told that he never left the tri-county area. 
Being born at home was a pretty common thing at that time and the Doctor would file the baby's birth certificate with the county when he got over there. Little did Larry know, until he needed his birth certificate to file for social security that Doc Bigler had never filled in his name! He was just Baby Boy Lindley! Luckily his Mother was still alive and well and she was able to assure the government that he was, in fact, her sweet baby boy, Larry Wayne, they just never finished the paperwork for 60+ years!
He attended Neoga Schools and was a star pupil. Welllllll........he did go there and none of his mischief caused an insurance claim for the school!  He says some of the best times of his life were his school years and with the friends he made there (I think he even forgave Dave Greeson for beating him up everyday and taking his lunch money). I've heard him credit Mrs. McKinney for helping him make it through it.
His family and his school instilled a deep love of  his country.  Wanting to do his part he went with his compadre, Dan Wente, to St. Louis to join the Army. Unfortunately, many health problems, caused him to be sent back home. Dan was accepted by Uncle Sam and went to Viet Nam. He came home in a box under an American flag. Later, Larry was greatly and humbly honored to be invited to join the Patriots Marching Color Guard of Mattoon, where he made many dear and special friends, Lee Oakley, Dana Denny, Mouse Micenhimer, Kenny Aubrey, Ron Shook, Bob Mathias, Aubrey Storm, Animal Farrier,  the Highland brothers, and so many more. To be welcomed by the men he admired and respected so much, but had been unable to join,  has always been an important part of his life.
Born with grease under his nails and a wrench in his hand, he had the ability to fix anything! His love of cars came at an early age. He could tune 'emup  to make 'em run fast, do body work to make 'em look hot and paint 'em to make 'em look cool!. He had a scoot, a cycle or a car long before he had a driver's license!  Him and the boys, (Dan Wente, Blaine Haskett, Ron Rentfro, Dave Greeson, Jack Patterson, Pud Saunders, Bob White, Ron Russell, and others that shall remain nameless)  could go uptown and get enough gas out of the hose on the old gas pumps to run 'em all night! When they ran out of gas they go over to Slim Wente's Dairy and shoot Wente Dairy milk bottles for target practice! (That's why Katie Lindley and Linda Sudkamp will bid to the death on those crazy bottles - there aren't any!)  Slim Wente would pay Larry and the boys a quarter for every black snake they caught in the chicken house, and then give the boys back the snake to dispose of, so they made a lot of money on the same old snake over and over!
In the early sixty's, he acquired a 1957 Corvette convertible that was his daily driver for many years. The hottest car on Rt 45 to Mattoon  till I-57 opened up! Jimmy Phillips, Roy Beals, and Jim Hardesty all gained a few gray hairs when they rode to Blaw-Knox with Larry (the speedometer goes to 140mph!) As luck would have it, the tires got bad and it was parked for many, many years till he was able to save enough to get those new tires! Finally the car came out of the crypt and was restored to its former red hot glory! About that time Larry joined the Class Pack Car Club of Neoga. He truly enjoyed every meeting of that wonderful gearhead group of guys and gals! Mike Browning, Bob Meek, Ron Warner, 

Norm Romack, Bill Douglas, Spanky Cox, Leland Eyrse....He was a great resource for the group because he remembered most of their cars when they were new! Now the Corvette sits resting most of the time and is only driven on days that have an L in them (look 'em up kids)
Back in the day, he battled blazes with some of Neoga's finest,  Harold Starwalt, Vernon Greeson, Marion Greeson, and Dean Swengel, as a volunteer fireman. He was also a Cumberland County Deputy under under Sheriff Otis Jones, with a young whippersnapper Randy Mendenhall.  More warnings were issued than tickets because how could you arrest somebody for doing something you'd done before? In the days before car seats, working a deadly I-57 accident with a car pinned under a semi, looking for a crying baby, he still spoke of it with pain in his eyes. More recently he proudly served as a Neoga city councilman for 3 terms before retiring. His advice, everybody should do a turn on a public board or council, learn how it works, and see how they decide where your money goes.  You will appreciate your public servants and the work they do for you.
Did I mention that in his spare time, "back in the day" he had a band? Yep, "Larry Lindley and the Flat Broke Band" He was a picker and a singer, with those big sad bedroom eyes, and that deep voice claiming they were Ogies from Neogie! With Gary "Chod" Williams on the drums and little Billy Stevens on the bass, he could make you believe he really did throw mama from the train! They played many big venues in the south and in the west. South of Mattoon and west of Toledo, but much fun was had and the band had a loyal following.
He retired from Blaw Knox Construction Equipment, Mattoon, as a maintenance man after 40 years of service. He was a proud union member of UAW 916. The work was back-breaking at times and hot and dirty, making the best asphalt road pavers ever. Harold Dalrymple, Lloyd Spannagel, Donnie Miller, Harold Cross, Ron Shook, Joe O'Brien, and Denny Thornton made the hours fly by and they always had each others' back. They worked hard, but they played hard too. There was always a prank on some poor soul going on! Like the guy that always had to be first to the time clock and grabbed his lunch box and ran.......somebody welded it to the table! Or "bluing" the bosses door handle. Machining permanent layout blue. They never felt it. It went great on a starched white shirt or when they rubbed their nose. With bosses like Dan Lycan, Ron Smith, Bill Spencer, Loy Shook, Marion Patrick, Roger Niccum , Vince Keck.....actually they were all good guys, but everybody got their turn.  Or sneaking out to put a little puddle of oil under John Jackson's Harley Davidson. Lots of fine friendships made over those many years.
A man of few words and not much given to emotional displays, the thing that shows his heart was as big as the sky is his love for his family. Sons, Curtis Lindley, Toledo; Brian Lindley (Dana), Neoga, Jeff Curry (Christy), Alma, IL: grandchildren, Andrew Lindley, Toledo; Nick Lindley, California; Bryce Lindley, Mattoon; Taylor Curry and Dane Curry, Dieterich; Luke Curry, Alma,IL, great-granddaughters, Reece Lindley, Mattoon; Hazel Lindley, Mattoon. In case you hadn't guessed who was writing this by now, I am his wife, Katie Reed Curry Lindley. If you know Larry he is not one to rush into anything and we were together for 40 years before he decided we should get married in March 2019. He is the better half of our pair. He is patient and kind, calm and forgiving, he looks for the best in everyone, all things I try hard to work on. He is my world. 
He hasn't been getting out so much these days. Most times you can find him in his chair with his faithful dog, Bear (3) at his knee, and his comfort cats, BC, Muffy, Larry the Cat,  "Itty Bitty the Boss" and Crack Cat nearby. 
I wrote this for Larry's 80th birthday.  I didn't plan on it becoming his obituary this soon.  He quietly passed from this life, at home, with me, his loving wife, at his side with his faithful Bear Dog on the floor and our kitty clan on his bed. If you were lucky enough to have known my Larry, I think in some way he has made you a better person because of it. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of LARRY WAYNE LINDLEY, please visit our floral store.


March 9, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Swengel-O'Dell Funeral Home, Inc.
520 Oak Avenue PO Box 339
Neoga, IL 62447

Funeral Service
March 10, 2022

11:00 AM


To The Family

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