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Albina E. (Durkalski) Lyle

February 1, 1916 ~ March 7, 2019 (age 103)

Albina Elizabeth Lyle of South Bend, IN, age 103, born February 1, 1916, went to meet her Lord on March 7, 2019.

As Albina Durkalski, she married Joseph Henry Lyle in South Bend, IN on September 4, 1943.  They were married for 62 years before his passing in 2005.

Grandma Lyle, as so many of her extended family called her, is survived by her four sons, Joseph Ray of Taylors, SC; Gregroy John (Terry) of Lake St. Louis, MO; Douglas Martin (Carolyn) of Gallatin, TN; and Stephen Eugene Lyle of South Bend, IN.  Also is surviving are ten grandchildren, Andrew and Keith Lyle; Dan (Giana) Lyle, Toni (Tom) Donnelly; Dr. Brenda (Brent) Fowler; Charlene (Colin) McCaffrey; Christopher, Michelle, and Matthew Lyle, and Chris Michael Dahl.  Also 13 great grandchildren survive; Jacob and Lizzie Lyle of South Bend, IN; Brittany, Jerry and Destiny Lyle of Arizona; Henry Lyle of Indianapolis, IN; Kirsten and Ryan Dahl of Indianapolis, IN; Ames Fowler of Germantown, TN; Connor and Alaina McCaffrey of Gallatin, TN; Patrick and Chloe Donnelly of Wentzville, MO.

Albina was a woman ahead of her time, bravely leaving her family home after completing high school where she was the star player of the Orwell, Ohio Girls’ Basketball team.  Her parents were poor farmers during the Great Depression, and she had no funds for basketball shoes.  The school took up a collection to buy them for her.  She graduated and left for Florida where she could find work as a waitress and sent money home to help raise her younger brothers and sisters.  While her sister Genevieve Short of Parma, Ohio survives, her other sisters, Bernice, Mary, Helen, Chetti; and brothers, Johnny and Frankie all preceded her in death.

Albina also was a nanny and cook in her youth for the Haley family of Cleveland, OH and once was complimented on her dinner of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding by one of the Roosevelts - quite an accomplishment for a girl who was her father’s best farm hand, more inclined to milk cows or chop fire wood then cook.  Albina traveled with the Haley family from Ohio to California to continue her employ as their children’s nanny.  She was never afraid to travel or try new adventures- a rare trait for her gender and generation.

Albina faced life with great courage and was known to never complain. She cherished the little things in life as well as counted them big blessings having experienced hunger and want in her young life.  She would always bring a pie and other goodies to Tennessee or wherever she visited, and often it was a cherry pie from her backyard trees.

Albina had many lifelong friends, and for many years was an active leader and member of Sigma Alpha Sorority.  She loved to travel and to meet new people.  She was able to visit her out-of-state sons and families well into her 90’s.  Her favorite sayings were: “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade,” and “This too, shall pass.”  She was always positive and an inspiration to many.  Her memory will live on in our hearts, FOREVER.

Visitation will be from 12- 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN.

Funeral Services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN.  Cremation will follow with interment in Highland Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.

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