January 8th, 1945 Jan Linne Lindh was born in Missoula, MT. He was born in a wild place and among men who threw long shadows and were true to their word. They opened doors for ladies and took issue with those who didn’t. Jan was well suited to the place and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the men of the time and learned to cast his own shadow. 1:30 AM on August 10th, 2018 Jan died as he had lived, unobtrusively, and left his friends and family to mourn his passing.
Jan grew up trying to explain to peers that his parents didn’t actually hate him for giving him his name. His explanation, As a rule, fell on deaf ears and the conversation invariably ended in blows and bloody noses but the experiences didn’t change him or the gentle soul he was but certainly contributed to the toughness of mind and body. He grew up with 3 older siblings Quest, Craig and Karen all bent on loving him and leaving their own marks (some visible) upon him. He developed an abiding distain of Washington D.C. where he lived a couple of years with his parents, Axel and Jeanne Lindh, while Axel continued his work with the U.S. Forest Service. Graduation day he caught the first train home to Montana. He tried the University of Montana for 3 years (boring); joined the smokejumpers (Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes to land in a forest fire with a shovel and a squirt gun); stint in the Marines during the Vietnam War (going from bad to worse); and then back to smokejumping in Alaska. Claimed to have tried his hand at private enterprise as a gigolo but the endeavor failed miserably when he met and eventually married his only client, Gail. Any hopes of Jan “settling down” and becoming “normal” were lost in the flames that were ignited the day he met her. Whatever he could do, she could do too – and proved it. He’d sworn off ever having kids so she brought along a couple of her own, Mark and Michael, and Jan decided he wasn’t breaking his word by loving them like his own. They carved out a life that few imagine and fewer lived. Summers were spent working like dogs 7 days a week in Alaska working on the pipeline and driving heavy equipment. Fall would come and they’d climb aboard their Cessna and head south to laze aboard their sailboat on the Sea of Cortez, reading or working on the boat or seeing friends until the inevitable spring thaw when they would head home again, stopping along the way Like traveling minstrels appearing at the door of family or friend with little notice to enthrall them with tales of their latest adventures – of which there were many.
Jan loved, he lived, he challenged, he taught, he supported, he reveled, he was meticulous. He became a husband, a father, a grandfather, and even a great-grandfather and loved every moment of it. Life to him was not the marking of time but the measure of experience. He believed strongly but was accepting of those who believed differently. Hell, he even invited conservatives to a meal and a bed on more than one occasion! He loved as he lived – with wild abandon and a willingness to accept things as they were, not as he wished them to be. The line between family and friend was blurred if it was there at all. If you needed him, he was there – until now. But he left us all better equipped to deal with life’s problems in his absence and there isn’t a better legacy than encouraging those he loved to cast their own long shadow.
Dear family and friends, The Celebration of Life of Jan Lindh will be held on September 23, 2018, 3:00 - 5:00pm. We will get together at Goldstream Valley Lyons Club, Kunkle Center. Near 2581 Goldstream Rd Fairbanks, Alaska
For lodging info contact Janis Smith (TEXT only please) 714 469-2830. For Pot Luck info please contact Tom Kurth 907 590-3184.
Online condolences may be made to the family at blanchardfamilyfuneralhome.com