Dad was born June 19, 1916. He died May 29, 2013. He was 96 years old.
Hard to believe that another year has gone by and we were expecting him to be around for his 97th birthday. But, it was not to be. God called him home recently and we all feel a giant loss.
He was a great guy. Take a look at the site and enjoy a fine life; a tribute to a real gentleman. A real gentle man.
Ray (His Son)
We're going to start the saga of Alvin Lindstrom in Sweden where his Great Grandfather, Per Wiklund was born in 1832. He married Christina Johansdotter in 1857
Per and Christina had a daughter, Lovisa, who must have been quite a catch for a young man...looks like she was very handy in the kitchen.
Lovisa met the handsome Salomon Lindquist and they married in 1883. The men in those days seemed to have a lot of hair...or are they wearing what would be considered the world's first toupees?
Salomon and Lovisa in later years. These were Alvin's grandparents who he never met.
Lovisa died in 1927, Salomon followed her in 1936.
Alvin's mother, Hilma Lindquist, was born in 1886. Life in Sweden was very difficult so she emigrated to the United States after the turn of the century.
She ended up in Two Harbors, Minnesota where she met a young man who was also from Sweden, John Lindstrom. John had served in the Swedish Army.
Hilma Lindquist and John Lindstrom got married.
June 19, 1916 they celebrated the arrival of their first child together, Alvin Fridolf Lindstrom.
Proud father John Lindstrom holds his son Alvin.
Time speeds by and the 3-year-old holding the cat turns into the young hockey player and the Two Harbors High School graduate in 1934.
After graduation, Alvin signed up with the Civilian Conservation Corps., a depression era program for young men started by President Franklin Rooselvelt.
He had a unique opportunity to visit the West Coast and saw the sights from California to Oregon. Above, in Beverly Hills, Below, at the giant redwood trees.
He decided it was time to get serious about his career and left the coast for Chicago to live with his uncle Nels and look for work.
In a few years he headed the accounting dept. at The Diversey, Corp. where in 1938 he met a Chicago gal named Grace Lovig. On their first date he took her to an 8 day bicycle race. They didn't stay all 8 days, but they did start going around together and in 1940 they got married.
It was war time and his brother Art, a Navy flier, stopped in for a visit and a photograph in 1944.
Oh, yeah, and somebody else stopped in for a visit, a long visit, me, son Raymond who came along in 1941.
The photo above was from a company magazine.
Soon we moved to the suburbs where all was well in the late 1940's and backyard barbecues were the order of the day
The years went zooming by, a change in climates and jobs were in order. I got married...here's a photo of Dad and Mom with their granddaughter Karen in the 1980's along with two nice professional photos they had done around the same time.
My mom died in 1988 after a long bout with cancer and that ushered in a new chapter in my dad's life.
Dad took a trip back home to Two Harbors shortly after mom died and found his old high school girlfriend, Ruth Donovan. They were married in November, 1988 and soon moved to Tucson where they have stayed and continue to enjoy life. Below are a few pictures of his life since 1988 that you might enjoy. Click on any of them to enlarge.
Above: The happy couple.
Below left, with granddaughter Karen in back yard.
Below right, in front of his massive golf ball collection.
Below left with brother Art and his nieces. Below right with brother Art and wife June.
In the Two Harbors parade.
Helping dedicate the CCC
Museum in Tucson
Cooking up chow for the Watch Man employees.
Dad and I went to Spain in 2003 for what he called, "a trip of a lifetime."
At a White Sox spring training game in Tucson 2 years ago.
At Ruth's birthday party a few years ago.
(My fiancee Renee, left.)
The Alvin Lindstrom Story
In his own words
I graduated from Two Harbors High School early in June of 1934. Times were tough and there weren’t many jobs available. President Roosevelt had just started the Civilian Conservation Corps. (CCC), a military style organization for young men to do public works projects, which they got a small monthly income, most of which would be sent home to help support the family.
On July 2 of that year I enrolled in the CCC as a “local experienced man.” I had special skills in typing and bookkeeping and my parents were not on relief like so many of the other guys. I got paid $30 a month. I was assistant company clerk at Camp Wanless in the Superior National Forest at Schroeder, MN which was not too far from Isabella, Tofte, and Two Harbors, where the district office was located.
Since Camp Wanless was only a tent camp, it would have been impossible to spend the winter there, so we all packed up and moved to the barracks at a place called Sawbill where we stayed until fall of 1935. Then we moved to Allen Junction, MN, near Aurora, MN. That was just a brief stopover because in the middle of winter, Jan, 1936, Company 703 was ordered to move across the country to Roseburg, Oregon.
This was a problem for me, a “local experienced man,” since I couldn’t qualify for that position far away from home. So, the Captain Carrol Patton, the Company Commander, offered me a job as his personal assistant. Now, by this time I had been making $45 a month as company clerk and camp steward, plus an additional $15 for operating the company store, or canteen, as we called it. And, I was First Sergeant, the highest rank for a non-com. But, that job was over, so I accepted the job as his personal aide.
My first job consisted of driving his car and his wife across the western U.S. to our new camp in Roseburg. I remained Captain Patton’s personal assistant until August of that year when I decided the position didn’t have much of a future, so I figured it was time to move on. I first considered joining the Army, but when I wrote that in a letter to my parents, my Dad wrote me the only letter I had ever received from him until that point.
He told me in no uncertain terms that the worst thing I could do is join the Army. He recounted his horrible experiences in the Swedish Army and urged me to reconsider. The worst part was how they would not even give him leave to attend his mother’s funeral. He was so adamant about it that he wrote the letter on one side in English, and on the other side of the paper in Swedish. I got the point and decided he must be right. So, instead I decided to change locations and go to where I could most certainly find a future...Chicago, Illinois.
I wrote to my aunt and uncle, Nels and Alma Lindquist, mom’s brother and sister-in-law, in Chicago and asked to stay with them. They wrote back and said it would be okay if I didn’t mind sleeping on a cot in the dining room.
I bought a bus ticket across the country that allowed plenty of stopovers so I could see the sites. In Eureka, California I saw giant redwood trees. In San Francisco I saw the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge. I took pictures of it and also of Japanese warships in the harbor. This was 5 years before they invaded Pearl Harbor. In Reno I visited casinos but had no money for gambling. On to Salt Lake City where stayed at the Hotel Utah and saw the Mormon Temple. Also, I went out to a very famous resort on the lake where they held dances and heard the popular Dick Jergens band.
About this time I was seriously running low on money so I couldn’t afford any more overnight stops. It was direct to Chicago where I arrived with just seven cents in my pocket. I stayed at an inexpensive hotel on the night of my arrival and the next day used my last seven cents for bus fare to my uncle’s place. How did I pay for my hotel room?
Things were different in those days of trust and no credit cards. You paid when you checked out, so I left my suitcases in the room and borrowed money from my uncle, returned to the hotel to pay and claim my luggage.
My folks had been saving money for me from the paychecks I sent home, so I had a few dollars for expenses.
I started out my job search with employment agencies. I was sent over to M.H. Slossen Co., a one man leather brokerage company. Located at Lake and Wells in downtown Chicago, Mr. Slossen was an agent for leather to make belts, wallets, etc. I accepted the job as secretary, bookkeeper, shipping clerk, and apprentice leather salesman.
My starting salary was $10 a week, and after a month it was doubled to $20. Everything was fine; I enjoyed the work and was learning the leather business. But, Mr. Slossen came in one day in Mar. of 1937 and announced he was retiring. The two man company closed its doors and I was back out looking for a job again.
I had interviews with Dow Chemical, Lindy Air Products, and The Diversey Corporation. I accepted a job with the latter as an accounting clerk at $75 per month.
The Diversey Corp. sold cleaning products for dairy equipment. Kochs, a rich man, started this business for his son, who ran the company. It was located in the famous Monadnock Bldg. in Chicago. It was April, 1937.
At the same time, a young woman named Grace Lovig started working at the same company. Her job was doing sales analysis by using an IBM punch card machine.
Later that year I was promoted to Supervisor of Billing, and Grace now worked for me.
I asked her out on a date and she accepted. Our first date was to part of an 8 day bicycle race. We continued to go out together. On Feb. 27, 1940 we got married and she had to quit her job. We moved into the third story of a “three-flat” brownstone building at 5000 W. Huron St. in Chicago.
As far as my income went, in April of 1938, I was raised to $80 per month; 1939 to $85; 1940 to $90; 1941 to $95. I detected a trend and thought it was time to seek my business success elsewhere. One day in the newspaper I saw an article that The International Agricultural Corp., with offices in New York and Atlanta was moving to Chicago.
I interviewed with the company and was offered a job in July of 1941 starting at $120 a month. When the Diversey Corp. received my letter of resignation, the President of the company tried to get me to stay, even offered me a substantial raise, but I rejected their last minute attempt to keep me and left for my place of business.
My new employer changed its name to International Minerals and Chemical Corp. I started my service with them as a cost accountant clerk for a fertilizer plant. In 1950 I became Chief Cost Accountant. In 1956 I became Asst. to Comptroller in charge of cost systems. I stayed with the company for almost 20 years, then left to move to Tucson.
During these years of the 1940’s and 50’s, my son Ray was born in 1941. In 1944 we moved to Geneva, Ill. In 1950 to Mt. Prospect, and in 1953 to Palatine.
I started all over at the bottom when I moved to Tucson in 1959. At the Duval Corporation, I started as a clerk in the accounting dept. However, within 6 years was named Resident Manager at their Esperanza Copper Mine South of Tucson. Soon I was asked to serve as a financial director of their Brussels, Belgium office, so Grace and I lived there during the middle 1970’s. I wrapped up my career at their Hanford, CA plant in the 1980’s(which was sold to the Simplot Corp. while I was there) and retired to Tucson.
In 1988 my beloved Grace passed away. That same year I ran into an old classmate of mine from Two Harbors, Ruth Donovan, and we married shortly thereafter.
What kind of weather is Alvin enjoying right now in Tucson?