100, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2014 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Born February 10, 1914 in Denver, Colorado to Harry and Anna Kreiling. She is survived by her loving family; daughter Darlene (Bob) Murray, grand-daughter Colleen (Mike) Flos, great grand-daughters, Heather (Mintautas) Pakalnis, and Ashley Flos. She was preceded in death by her husband, L. Dean Binkley, brothers, Eugene and Lawrence Kreiling. Services Thursday, July 3, 2014, 2pm at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 3900 Pierce St., Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033. Interment to follow at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. In lieu of flowers,...
100, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2014 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Born February 10, 1914 in Denver, Colorado to Harry and Anna Kreiling. She is survived by her loving family; daughter Darlene (Bob) Murray, grand-daughter Colleen (Mike) Flos, great grand-daughters, Heather (Mintautas) Pakalnis, and Ashley Flos. She was preceded in death by her husband, L. Dean Binkley, brothers, Eugene and Lawrence Kreiling.
Services Thursday, July 3, 2014, 2pm at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 3900 Pierce St., Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033. Interment to follow at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Edythe's name to the Carmelite Monastery, 6138 S. Gallup St., Littleton, Colorado 80120.
Many people know that my Bachelor's degree is in History. What many people don't know is that my Great Grandma, GG, is who inspired me to study history in the first place. After all, how can one resist the lure of a good story, especially when that story is a true one? GG had some of the most incredible stories I've ever heard, and I have guided much of my life by her actions.
GG was born in 1914 here in Denver, Colorado. Growing up she was extremely close to her father, Harry Kreiling, who was a traffic officer on 16th and Broadway. He doted upon her, his little girl, and he was her hero.
Growing up she would often spend summers in Leadville, where both of her parents were born and raised. One year, when she was a teenager, in the late 1920s, she decided to walk up near the old mines, despite her father's strict orders to avoid them. But GG always had a mind of her own, and went walking anyway. She came across Baby Doe's cabin, and ended up being stuck there, as Baby Doe, having lost her fortune at this point and was not in her right mind, refused to let her leave. GG's father had to come up from Denver to get her out of the cabin. The story is one she loved telling her entire life, and no matter how many times my family heard it, we would always listen with rapt attention.
As an adult GG was gorgeous. She was a model for the Daniels and Fisher Department store, and Nusteters, (the equivalent of today's Dolce and Gabbana or Prada) and worked in the D&F clock tower in the heart of Downtown Denver. She was even asked to go to Hollywood to be a star, but her father thought it was a risky lifestyle, and so she stayed in Denver.
As she got older GG never lost her sense of independence, and was often ahead of her time. Before she married her husband Dean in 1937, GG attended Parks Business College as a member of their very first class, in 1931. For 35 years she worked as an impressionist making Patty Cakes all across Denver. GG was so good and reputable at what she did that the Patty Cake business survived solely on word of mouth.
In her spare time, for no reason other than enjoyment, she competed in roller skating competitions, and for a short time, Edythe Kreiling was the name you found at the top of the champion list at Skateland on south Broadway in Denver.
She worked at Elitches as a cashier, and sometimes after work, she would go dance at the Trocadero ball room. Her favorite artists and bands of the time, which could often be seen at the Trocadero, were Lawrence Welk, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Glen Miller, and Tommy Dorsey. When my family listened to the music of her time with her, she sang along with the songs and we could imagine the 18-year-old Edythe, dancing the fox trot, the waltz, and the Charleston all around the big dance hall.
When asked about her favorite part of her life and her favorite experiences, GG got a far off look in her eyes and a huge smile on her face, and it was clear she was seeing a different time and place. As she remembered, you could almost imagine it yourself. Trumpets and Jazz playing, people laughing and dancing, girls in their flapper dresses, and cities lit up so bright in celebration, that you would almost be fooled into thinking that it is the middle of the day. The time she spoke about is the 1920's, the Roaring Twenties, where life was carefree and the so were the people. She was at every social event that she could manage to go to, and she fit in with almost any crowd. She always had the best fashion, and she loved to dance.
Throughout her life GG was known for many things. She cherished animals, especially her little Maltese dog, Angel, who she loved like a baby, and was always at her side for many years. She always enjoyed going to the mountains, and her cabin was one of her favorite places in the world. She took pride in every inch of the cabin from the little ceramic fruit on the living room table, to the original wall paper. The cabin was her's, and is our family's, little hide away, and she took loving care of it.
GG was crazy about anything and everything Irish, and had the true "gift of gab" to prove it. We always said she could sell an icebox to an Eskimo. She would sing Danny Boy, or the occasional Irish lyric, which my mother would be so excited to hear me sing at 6 years old, regardless of its content. But that is how GG was. She loved to cause mischief. When my sister and I were young, my grandma would go out to get us lunch or to the store, and GG would say, "Come on, girls! Let's take a ride!" And we would go out to her 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass, climb on in, and go driving. When my grandma got back and asked what we did, We would just grin and laugh and say "Oh, nothing!" She once told me though, that it was harder to pull that trick on my mom, as she used to do the same thing with her. She would always sneak things, candy or a few dollars here and there to my sister and I, and my mom when she was little, then say shhh…like it was a big secret. GG was a character, and anyone who knew her, knew of her love for humor.
My great grandma has been beautiful her entire life, on the inside and the outside. Her beauty was only surpassed by her love and care for her family. She was truly the center of our family, and she loved it. She cared for and devoted all her time to us, and she was our idol. She never missed an important event in our lives. She was an incredible Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother. My sister and I were lucky enough to have her see us graduate elementary school, here at Sts. Peter and Paul, a church she helped to found and where she loved singing in the choir. She then saw us graduate High School. She saw me graduate Regis University, and Ashley complete her Freshman Year there. And I was so blessed to have her at my Wedding in April. She saw me marry the man that I love, and I could never ask for more.
GG taught us about life. She taught us how to live every moment of every day to its fullest. She taught us that bad things will happen in life, and while they will seem to break you, you have to move past them and keep going. Her love for her family and her faith in God got her through the toughest of trials. As she got older, and was unable to physically care for us the way she hoped, she always let us know how much she supported us. The last three years we would only see bits of the GG we loved and grew up with. My grandmother turned to care giver, devoting every minute of her life to the care of her Mom. I truly believe that if it was not for my grandma, GG would not have been able to experience the full 100 years of life she so eagerly led.
While I was talking to Mintautas about GG, he said something to me about the loss of his father that brought me a lot of peace and understanding dealing with the loss of GG. He said He carries the happy memories and lessons he learned from him in his daily life. Like a stone thrown to a lake causing a ripple, things being passed to us from the people we meet and the people who are close to us; things that we will pass in the future to others. This helped me realize the impact GG has had on our lives. After she passed I promised her my children, and our family would know of her and her stories. That is her lasting legacy: Her incredible, never ending, unlimited Love for her family.
My sister, Ashley, had to write a paper for one of her college classes, about family history and she chose GG's story. These are some of her words about the incredible life of our Great Grandmother:
Edythe Binkley lived more in her 100 years then you can tell stories about. Her entire life was devoted to being the best person she could be. She was a strong, beautiful, independent and loving woman, who cared more about the people around her then she did for herself. She would never let anyone tell her no, and fought for what was right. My great grandmother taught my sister and I how to be better women, and how to love life. She taught us more then we can convey through words. She experienced things that most people today can't even imagine, and she witnessed history take place time and time again. Above anything however, her greatest achievement was being a mother. Our family is here today thanks to the sacrifices that she made for us, and we will never be able to tell her how much we appreciate her, and love her. Our great Grandma is our hero, and she will always and forever be our best friend.