In Loving Memory of Billy Jack Tindle

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Billy Tindle, former Secretary and Treasurer of the Alabama AFL-CIO and a life long member of the Alabama Democratic Party Executive Committee, has died.

“Billy was one of the few fortunate people in this world who got to earn a living doing what he loved to do,” said Al Henley, president of the Alabama AFL-CIO. “He will be missed dearly.”

Tindle served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1955 and received an honorable discharge. After his discharge he went to work for U.S. Pipe and Foundry in Bessemer. He served a 4 year apprenticeship and became a journeyman machinist. He was a member of I.A.M. Local 359 for more than 50 years. He held several positions in his local and was also an organizer for the I.A.M. District Lodge.

Tindle was president of the old Bessemer Labor Council for 10 years and was instrumental in merging the Bessemer Labor Council and the Birmingham Labor Council into the Jefferson County Labor Council.

In 1978, after 22 years at U.S. Pipe, Tindle was selected to be the Labor Community Service Director for the American Red Cross, Birmingham Chapter. During his tenure at the Red Cross, Tindle was certified to work Level 5 disasters and worked every hurricane from Fredrick in 1979 to Andrew in 1992 and many smaller natural disasters in between.

In 1992, Tindle was elected Secretary of Treasure of the Alabama AFL-CIO and held that position until he retired in 2003.

Tindle was a life member of the Masons and a member of the Zamora Temple. He was a past Board member of the Birmingham Chapter of the American Red Cross, past board member and Labor Campaign Chairman of the United Way of Central Alabama. He was also a former board member of the UAB School of Business Center for Labor Education and Research, the Governor’s Labor Management Conference and past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Alabama Abuse Counseling Center. He was an honorary member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2143 and I.B.E.W. State Electrical Workers.

In 2003 at the National American Red Cross Convention he was presented with one of the highest awards the Red Cross presents each year, the Samuel L.Gompers Award, which is presented to an individual or labor organization for distinguished community service.

Tindle was honored by the Alabama State Senate and House of Representatives with a joint resolution congratulating him for his many years of service to the labor movement and the state. In 2004, State Senator Charles Steele presented Tindle with a special award for his distinguished leadership with organized labor and overall support of humanity.

Tindle was a graduate of Bessemer High School and a long time Little League baseball coach at Roosevelt Park in Bessemer. He was a Christian and loved by all who knew him. His whole life was dedicated to the labor movement and community service.

Tindle was predeceased by his parents, Bill and Katie Tindle and two brothers Bobby Dean and Melvin Tindle. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shelby Jean Sprayberry Tindle, his 4 children, Mary Ruth Tindle Barnett, Steven Tindle, Cathy Tindle Craig and Jonathan Tindle. He had 7 grand children, 4 great grand children and numerous nieces and nephews.

A viewing was held on October 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and funeral services were November 1 at 1 p.m. with grave side services immediately following at Patterson-Forrest Grove Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in Pleasant Grove.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Pine Ridge Baptist Church Building Fund, c/o Pine Ridge Baptist Church, 300 Pine Ridge Road, Bessemer, AL 35023.

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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