In memoriam: Longtime Westsider Eugene Lindsey
Eugene Lindsey, 90, a Westsider and railroad official who had been active in the community for many years, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 6.
He is survived by Eileen, his wife of 71 years, and two children, Janie and Bruce; as well as grandchildren Deborah, Cathleen and Christine; five great grand-children; and two great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Roxie Lindsey Constant and son Donnie.
Eugene was born July 9, 1918, in Butler County, Kentucky, to Eddie and Cordi Lindsey. According to Eileen, she and Eugene came from farm families living about 10 to 15 miles apart. They met on a blind date on Christmas Eve when he was 16 and she was 14. "It was during the deep Depression," Eileen recalled. "We always went out in groups."
They were married in September 1937, moving to Colorado Springs four years later in hopes of correcting Eugene's chronic asthma. A doctor in Kentucky had listed Colorado among states where he might live and not be troubled by the breathing problem. Upon that news, Eugene and Eileen did not waste any time moving. "I always thought it was neat that they threw everything they had in their car and came out here," Bruce said. "When he hit the state line, he felt like he could breathe."
Within a year, Eugene was hired by the employer he would stay with until his retirement at age 60. That was the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, where he was eventually promoted to the position of district freight and passenger agent, despite only going to school through the eighth grade (he took numerous courses over the years to make up for his formal-education shortfall, Eileen reported).
In his railroad capacity, Eugene was present at the closing of the Midland Railway in 1949, and was also associated with the Rock Island Railroad, Santa Fe Railroad, and the Pullman Company.
He was a member of the Masons for 66 years and enjoyed being in the Drum Corps unit of the Al Kaly Temple. He was also associated with the Garden of the Gods Rotary Club, Isaac Walton Hunting Club and was a charter member of the Traffic Club with the Railroad. A Boy Scout leader for 18 years, he helped coordinate railroad transportation to the national Scout Jamboree in Colorado Springs in 1959.
Family members described him as a hard-working, generous man who "never wasted a minute" and "never made an enemy," as Eileen put it. Both Janie and Bruce said he helped them many times when they were starting out as young adults.
Since 1992, macular degeneration in his eyes had left him almost totally blind. But this did not stop him, according to Bruce. He would listen to books on tape and even try to help his son cutting tree limbs on his property (which unfortunately led to an accident once).
Eugene had been suffering from breathing problems in the last couple of years, Eileen said. At his request, he spent his final days at his home on Columbia Road with family members nearby.
Westside Pioneer article