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Published: Friday, 4/15/2005

Ex-greenhouse owner stayed in plant trade

ADRIAN - Mary Kindinger, who with her husband, Russell, raised and sold plants and vegetables for more than 30 years at their greenhouse south of here, died of pneumonia Tuesday in Herrick Memorial Hospital, Tecumseh, Mich. She was 83.

She hadn't retired. After her husband's ill health caused the couple to sell Kindinger's Greenhouse in the late 1980s, she went to work for Barrett's Flowers & Greenhouse.

"Everybody in town knew her," her son Mike said.

Mrs. Kindinger was looking forward to the busy spring season at the time of her death, her son said. She especially liked working with the young people there.

"She gave a couple of them used cars she had," her son said. "She was very generous to everyone except herself."

She and her husband didn't have agricultural backgrounds. He worked at his father's Adrian foundry. She worked at an auto dealership.

"They saved their dimes. When they got $350 worth [in the early 1940s], they put a down payment on a 120-acre farm near Clayton, Mich., that they bought for $3,500," their son said.

They had dairy cows and moved later to a larger farm near Stockbridge, Mich.

The family moved back to Adrian in 1952 to open Kindinger's Greenhouse, an acre under glass where they raised hot-house tomatoes and bedding plants, which they sold from the business.

But they also had a truck-farm operation and raised produce - celery, cabbage, green onions - which they sold to grocers within a 30-mile radius.

"She just did everything - transplanted and raised the tomatoes and strung up tomatoes and worked harder than any man worked the last 20 years," her son said.

The Great Depression taught her to be frugal. Her family was not affected directly, but "a lot of her friends had it tough. She never forgot that," her son said.

She was a 1939 graduate of Adrian High School. The next year, she married Philip Russell Kindinger. They liked to spend time at a home they owned at Round Lake, Mich. She worked crossword puzzles and liked to can food and make jelly, her son said.

Her husband died in 1991.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Adrian.

Surviving are her sons, Philip Michael, John, Richard, and James; four grandchildren; four step-grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in the Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.

The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer's Association or a charity of the donor's choice.



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