D. Leslie Tindal

by | June 27, 2017 4:57 pm

Last Updated: July 10, 2017 at 12:49 pm

D. Leslie Tindal Jr., 89, husband of the late May Davis Tindal, died Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at his home.
Born May 4, 1928, in Pinewood, he was a son of the late David Leslie Tindal Sr. and Lela Norris Tindal. He was a former South Carolina commissioner of agriculture and a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
Tindal was recognized for his lifetime of hard work and dedication to the farmers of South Carolina. As a farmer in Clarendon and Sumter Counties, he was involved with numerous agricultural organizations and traveled the world developing agricultural and business contacts. Later, those relationships helped him in serving the state’s agriculture and agribusiness sector. A devoted advocate of research for agricultural development, he brought new crops to South Carolina and encouraged new technologies to help the state’s farmers be more efficient and profitable. As Commissioner, he supported farmers and provided agricultural recovery efforts following droughts, floods, and other natural disasters, particularly the devastation to agriculture by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Under his leadership, the SC Department of Agriculture developed the Small Farms Program, SC Quality Program, Serving SC Quality Program, SCDA Equine Program, Ag in the Classroom, and opened the Pee Dee State Farmers Market.
Commissioner Tindal served and held leadership positions in many organizations, including the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, American Soybean Association, South Carolina Foundation Seed Board, South Carolina Crop Improvement, South Carolina Cattlemen, South Carolina Seedsmen, South Carolina Soybean Association, and Clarendon County Farm Bureau. He served on the Board of Trustees of Clemson University for ten years and upon his election as Commissioner of Agriculture was named a Lifetime Trustee Emeritus. He served on the Black River Cooperative Board of Directors for 55 years until 2015. He faithfully attended Calvary Baptist Church and served the church in numerous capacities. A founding parent of Clarendon Hall, he was a long-time member on the school’s Board of Trustees and at the time of his death was serving as a trustee of the Clarendon Hall Land Trust.
A two-time recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, Commissioner Tindal also received many honors and awards throughout the years for his dedication to and leadership in the many agricultural and civic organizations to which he belonged. In 2003, the South Carolina House of Representatives recognized Commissioner Tindal for his outstanding and valuable service as Commissioner of Agriculture thanking him for twenty years of service to the farmers and citizens of South Carolina.
One of his greatest pleasures was traveling throughout this state he held so dear. He knew every small town, every community, and every crossroad, and he touched the lives of many at each stop he made. A true Southern gentleman, Commissioner Tindal delighted in being with family and friends on his farm or at the lake and enjoyed discussions on farming, politics, current events, family history, Clemson University, and Clemson Tiger football. In all aspects of his life, “he plowed deep and straight and didn’t cut corners, so God made him a farmer.”
Survivors include three daughters, Betsy T. Ducworth (John) of Summerton, Amelia T. Handegan (John Roven) of Charleston and Ginger Tindal Rhodes of Summerton; one son, David L. Tindal III (Nancy) of Pinewood; eight grandchildren, John W. Ducworth III, Elizabeth D. Thompson, Tindal D. Handegan, Jack D. Handegan III, Thomas L. Rhodes III, Austin T. Rhodes, Rebecca T. Thompson and David L. Tindal IV; seven great-grandchildren, May, William, Lee, Quinn, Braxton, Virginia and David; and a sister, Henrietta T. “Hennie” Rickenbaker of Summerton.
A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2017, at Calvary Baptist Church in Pinewood, with the Rev. Bennie Barwick officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Pallbearers will include John W. Ducworth III, Tindal D. Handegan, Thomas L. Rhodes III, Austin T. Rhodes, David L. Tindal IV and Jack D. Handegan III.
Honorary pallbearers will include his nephews, Billy Davis, Bob Davis, Skip Davis, Fritz Davis, Francis Davis, Bill Davis, Connor Davis, David Cahill, Rick Rickenbaker and Burchell Rickenbaker; and his long-time employees, Vernell Durant and Leroy Moore.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the home, 1322 Les Tindal Road in Pinewood.
Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church Trust, 1463 Les Tindal Road, Pinewood, SC 29125; or to Clarendon Hall School Scholarship Fund (501-C3), P.O. Box 609, Summerton, SC 29148.
Stephens Funeral Home and Crematory, 304 N. Church St. in Manning, is in charge of arrangements, (803) 435-2179.

comments » 3

  1. Comment by Caroline Tindal

    June 27, 2017 at 19:46

    Heaven gained a mighty angel today. Dear Betsy, Mele, Ginger, David and Hennie, My thoughts and prayers are with each one of you and with all the extended family. My heart joins yours as you grieve the loss of your daddy (and brother), Leslie, Jr., a great man who has left an indelible impression on his family, friends, church, community and the state of South Carolina. I also celebrate his life with you and rejoice that he can rest now without pain or confusion, reunited in his heavenly home with his beloved May and all the Tindal clan who have gone before him. I know that’s a BIG Homecoming… Calvary style! Wish I could be with y’all. Love to all of you with deepest sympathy. Caroline Tindal

  2. Comment by Wesley James (Jimbo) Snyder, III

    June 28, 2017 at 07:30

    South Carolina has lost a most wonderful man. I was fortunate to have grown up knowing Leslie when he would come to our house to visit his cousin Mary Cuttino Snyder. I was fortunate enough to see Leslie recently and tell him that I always considered him the great example of a true Southern Gentleman and that I have tried to fashion my life like his. You will be sorely missed. My condolences to the family and wish you well!
    Jimbo Snyder

  3. Comment by Bill McCormick

    June 29, 2017 at 23:29

    Our Connor cousin will be missed. A wonderful man, an incredible example of what integrity and honor really mean.

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