Eleanor Letitia Maguire Lindsay Hample

1916 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Eleanor Letitia Maguire Lindsay Hample Obituary
Eleanor Letitia Maguire Lindsay Hample April 29, 1916 - June 20, 2012 Our beloved Eleanor passed away peacefully on the evening of June 20, 2012, in San Diego, California, befitting the name "Sister Serenity" bestowed by Bill Hample, her late husband. She lived a beautiful 96 years sharing joy and happiness with both the Lindsay and Hample families. Eleanor Letitia Maguire was born in Bloomington, California, on April 29, 1916, two years to the day after her sister Ruth was born. She was named for her Aunt Nell (who was in turn named after her grandmother, Eleanor Strangford Maguire) and for her grandmother (Letitia Strangford Maguire). Her early years were spent playing in her father's 10-acre orange grove and exploring the surrounding countryside. Her aunt Nell helped her father, Edward James Maguire, raise the girls after her mother died from a tragic firearm accident when Eleanor was only two years old. Eleanor was always busy exploring the outdoors, much to the consternation of her Aunt Nell who would have preferred her to be less "tomboy" and more ladylike. Both girls took piano lessons, beginning in grammar school, and Eleanor continued playing throughout her life. Like her pioneer ancestors, Eleanor's home in Bloomington had no electricity or plumbing and, on Sundays, everyone dressed for church. Evenings, after completion of daily chores, were spent quietly reading by kerosene light. Education was highly valued, and Ed Maguire faithfully saved money for the girls for a college education, never tapping the funds even in the worst of the Great Depression. Eleanor's sister Ruth taught her to read and, upon entering school, Ellie was immediately advanced to second grade. She graduated from Colton High School in 1932 at 16 years of age and, after two years at San Bernardino Valley Union Junior College where she was the class speaker at graduation, she transferred to UCLA and graduated in 1936 as probably the first woman to graduate with a BA in political science. Throughout high school, junior college, and at UCLA she was very active working on the school newspapers and was editor at the former two schools. After graduating from UCLA, she worked variously at the Los Angeles Examiner, the Mission Inn in Riverside, and taught school in Red Mountain in the Mojave Desert. Eleanor met Merle Giles Lindsay, an insurance salesman, at a church dance in 1940 and he literally swept her off her feet as they danced through the evening. They married two months later, and in September 1941 their first son, Lowell Edward, was born. Fifteen months later in January 1943, Giles Thomas was born after Merle had enlisted in the Navy the previous fall. During the war years, Eleanor moved back to the Bloomington farm with "Tommy," and Lowell went to live in southwest Los Angeles with his paternal grandparents. The family was reunited after the war in the fall of 1945 and moved to Van Nuys, California. In later years two more boys were born-Wayne Richard and Merle Giles Jr. Eleanor wrote to a relative in the 1990s and stated that she felt her greatest accomplishment in life was to raise her four boys, being very active in their education and supporting their activities. She served as president of the PTA and of the Mid-Valley YMCA Y's Menettes. She also helped her husband with his business, the Lindsay Insurance Company, and was very active in church activities and the Valley Symphony Association. With her husband's passing in April 1970, Eleanor went to work for the Mid-Valley YMCA as the secretary to the director. Later she moved to Bakersfield with her younger son Merle Jr., to be near her sister Ruth who worked as a counselor at Bakersfield Community College. She also began working for the Kern County Museum and became deeply involved in preserving the county's history and culture. A new phase of her life began when Bill Hample became a widower and sought her hand in marriage, making weekly trips to Bakersfield to visit Eleanor. The Hamples had been neighbors for years in Van Nuys and both families had attended the local church. They married in 1981, bringing the two families together. They first lived in Tarzana and then bought a beautiful home in the Sierra foothills near the Kern River Canyon. They were both very active in their church where Eleanor served as the church secretary for many years. Eleanor was also a Masonic Eastern Star. She and Bill actively supported the local historical society. They enjoyed traveling to state-wide conferences, visiting family members, and hosting family in their Bakersfield home. Throughout her life she stayed close to the many activities of her and Bill's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, attending special occasions and always remembering special dates. She also kept in contact with her Henderson and Maguire clan relatives. She and Bill celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2006. Eleanor was preceded in death by her first husband Merle Giles Lindsay, her second husband William Gideon Hample, her sister Ruth Elizabeth Maguire, and her son Merle Giles Lindsay Jr. She is survived by: her sons Lowell (Diana) Lindsay of El Cajon, Giles Thomas (Patricia) Lindsay of San Diego, and Wayne Lindsay of Los Angeles; step-sons Daniel Hample of Bakersfield and Richard Hample of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and step-daughter Deborah (Stan) Rosenthal of Monroe, Washington. She is also survived by: grandchildren Jon Lindsay of San Diego, Jenn Lindsay of Boston, Debi (Stan) Leja of Palo Cedro, Dawna Rhodes of Medford, Oregon, and Denise (Mike) Miller of Medford, Oregon; step-grandchildren Bryce Hample of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rae Anna Hample of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Katie (Jake) Dorsey of Kennewick, Washington, Lauren Rosenthal of Unalaska, Alaska, and Jeri Rosenthal of Monroe, Washington; seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 7, 2012, in San Diego. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eleanor's name to either Principia College (Principia Annual Fund, 13201 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63131, gifts@principia.edu) or to the Kern County Museum (Kern County Museum Foundation, P.O. Box 2213, Bakersfield, CA 93301, kcmuseum@kcmuseum.org). www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 22, 2012
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