Monday, June 25, 2012

Lester James Lindberg Obituary

Lester James (Jim) Lindberg
Dec. 1, 1938 – June 24, 2012

Jim Lindberg, age 73, passed away June 24 as a result of a traffic accident. Jim was born in Portland, OR, attended Grant H.S., and graduated from Reed College with a degree in physics. He served 3 years in the U.S. Army, owned & operated S & C Lumber for 25 years with his brother-in-law, Leonard Fischer. After closing S&C, he worked as a cook at Spirit Mtn. Casino for 9 years. Two years ago, Jim opened “A Turning Leaf” Home Medical Equipment with his daughter, Anne & husband, Randy Turner. He served as CFO for a new company that provided many jobs for the local community of Lebanon & Salem. He loved the outdoors, hiking, picking blackberries, and working with his mind and hands in building, creating, and solving problems. He also tutored math & physics to his nieces and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lucie, sister, Suzanne Nelson, daughter, Anne, son, William and six grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 30th, 11:00am at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Willamina where he was a member.

Today, I saw his remains. The mortician covered him up so that only the beautiful parts of his face shown. Fortunately, for us only half of his scull smashed against the dash board. I keep on hearing in my head, "OH NO," as he swerved off the highway and over corrected.

I wonder what his last thoughts were of? I sat with him alone in the dark unable to stand. I had to be alone with him. I could not say what I need to say with others present. I've only cried once before as an adult. Crying is painful for men. We don't like to release the din of pain unto the world. The last time I cried was when Kay severed our relationship. Kay was the only woman I've ever proposed to. In some sense, I never did get over her. And I suspect that I never will get over my father. My dad probably never got over his father's passing either.

Lester Leonard Lindberg left his son 39 years ago and suffered a lingering death from multiple strokes. I remember him. Laying in nursing home bed in Seaside. When I went to the clam dig with your cousins. I walked by that care center. I recognized it instantly even though the last time I saw the place I was a little boy. I felt like a little boy again when before your remains, i doubled over in grief.

Yes, dad, I will install that whorehouse light for you. And I will write a poem or short about it. If I am lucky, it will be a slam poem that you can perform through me. I always wanted you to see me perform the love of my life. Poetry.

Do you remember that day we went body surfing down at Newport?


  1. What a strange cruel thing to say regarding a father sounds like you were not to close. Sorry for the poet who wrote this.

  2. What part was strange or cruel?

    My father was insecure about money. And he spent his entire life save for about five years working to achieve financial security. Spending money for dad was like purposely cutting open your arteries to let the blood flow out. Thusly, because of his money hang-ups, we his children and his spouse never saw him for more than a few hours a week.

    Me as an adult, we rarely spoke. But when we did we had wonderful debates about the nature of the universe, physics, astronomy, cosmology, cosmogony, nature, politics, and sometimes poetry.

    My father didn't accept my gifts and talents as a writer until the last year of his life. Up till that time we fought. He believed that my efforts were ill spent especially after the fifty dollars I borrowed from him to self-publish a book of poems I wrote in 1994. I moved about six of the twenty-five I made. For a decade that 50 dollars was a point of contention between us.

    I however tearfully asked last Christmas when we were doing wood together why he invested all of his life savings in my sister’s business idea and I asked if he had any money left, if he would invest in my e-book publishing business. And his answer was, if it was one year ago, absolutely not, but knowing what I have learned about you in the last few months, "yes." That was enough for me to know that we had finally made peace.

    I loved my father and I thought of him as a superman even up to the end. He died in car accident. His body was smashed and broken by the impact. Loosing a person suddenly is a difficult truth to face. And me, now, almost four weeks later, I still don't believe he is gone.