Lela Buckingham, 91

Published 7:18 pm Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lela Buckingham

Lela Buckingham

Lela Buckingham, 91, of Grand Meadow, Minn., passed away Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn.

Lela Kathleen Wilson was born Jan. 7, 1923, at home in Rodman, Iowa, the daughter of Louis M. Wilson and Leona R. (Firkins) Wilson. In 1928 the family moved to Rolfe, Iowa. She attended the country school Pikertown through eighth grade. She graduated from Plover High School in 1939 in Plover, Iowa. On Jan.3, 1942 she was united in marriage to Lawrence Hilton at the Plover Presbyterian Church. Together they settled into crop and livestock farming in the Plover area. Dancing, both ballroom and square dancing, was enjoyed by the couple. Fishing was another favorite pastime.

To this union, four children were born: Larry (1942), Linda (1947), Laura (1959), and Leonard (1960). Lela was a busy “stay at home mom” who raised big gardens and chickens, cooked wonderful meals and baked goodies; pie, bread, cake, or cookies nearly every day.  Sewing was another talent. Her patience, kindness, honesty, and generosity to others set a good example for all of her family.

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In Plover Lela and her Aunt Marvel sang many duets at anniversaries and funerals. Lela was a faithful member of the Plover Presbyterian and later the Methodist Church, the Friendly Circle Club and two “500” clubs.

In 1966 a farm was purchased near Elkton, Minn. The Dexter United Methodist Church in Dexter, Minn., became the family’s new church home. She became a member of the church choir and served on several committees. Her love of gardening blossomed and she joined the Friendly Garden Club.  She loved to travel and share her experiences.

On Oct. 16, 1975, her high school sweetheart passed away. Ten years later she married Charles Buckingham on Dec. 15, 1985, at the Dexter Methodist Church in Dexter, Minn. They spent fourteen winters in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, enjoying their retirement years. Acrylic and oil painting became her hobby. Charles passed away on Sept. 20, 1999.

Survivors include her four children, her four step-children, and their families: Larry (Kathryn) of Elkton, Minn., and son, William Hilton (Carla), Kaitlyn and Grace of Dexter, Minn., and daughter, Cynthia Hilton (Dustin Lonergan), Rose Creek, Minn. Linda (Richard) Svenson of Decorah, Iowa, and children, Rachel (Aron) Baccam, Josha, Brandon, and Kathleen of Rockford, Minn., Matthew Svenson of Coralville, Iowa, and Miriam (Chad) Sessler, Isabella, and Sierra of Aplington, Iowa. Laura Hilton (Dana Huber) of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Leonard Hilton of Buffalo, Minn. Sharon July (Vern Bauernfeind) of Rochester, Minn., daughter, Stacy (Brian) Tiedeman, Emily, son, Nicklaus (Rachel) Jared, Olivia, and Delilah. Thomas Buckingham (Denise Wendt) of Kasson, Minn., daughters Melissa (Ryan) Smith, Connor, Colton, Madison, and Leo of Adams, Minn., Valerie (Lee Skjervem) Vondra, Haeven, Caitlynn, and Brody of Brownsdale, Minn., Theresa (Matthew) Van Rossem, Hunter of Phoenix Ariz. Mary  Buckingham-King (Larry King) of Kasson, Minn., daughters Allison (Craig) Dolenc, Hunter and Cameron of Cottage Grove, Minn., and Jordan (Sven) Hovey, Lily, Gage, and expectant twins of Mondovi, Wis. Randy (Judy) Buckingham, Coy, Natasha, and Ashley of Grand Meadow, Minn.

Lela is also survived by her brother Louis D. (Dolores) Wilson of Ankeny, Iowa and sister Lorraine Schott of Ames, Iowa, many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Lela was preceded in death by her parents, Louis M. and Leona Wilson; parents-in-law, Bert and Fannie HIlton; husbands, Lawrence Hilton and Charles Buckingham; step-son, John Buckingham; sisters-in-law; and brothers-in-law.

Funeral services for Lela Buckingham will be held 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at the Dexter United Methodist Church in Dexter, Minn., with The Rev. Karen Ashton officiating. Burial will take place at the Dexter Cemetery. Visitation will be held 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at the Hindt Funeral Home in Grand Meadow, Minn., and 1 hour prior to the service at church.

Memorials are preferred to the Dexter United Methodist Church of Dexter, Minn., or the charity of your choice.