Charles Lindenberg

Charles Lindenberg

Charles W. Lindenberg

Charles W. Lindenberg was born on Sept. 8, 1932 in Antofagasta, Chile, to Elisa Ward Lindenberg and Carl F. Lindenberg.

His father, a Swedish immigrant, was a mechanic and pilot for Pan American Grace, the parent company of both the airline and steamship line. His mother came from a large, Anglo-Peruvian family which owned an “estancia,” or plantation, in the Camilaca valley, Cinto, Peru.

Charlie, the youngest child ever to fly over the Andes, was less than two years old when his father was killed when he had to make a forced landing in Mar Chiquita, a shallow lake near Junin, Argentina. It was Carl’s wish that his son would be raised in the United States.

Elisa took him to Florida, where she applied for citizenship and built a small house, which remained her only property for many years, and was rented out as she and Charlie progressed from place to place.

She worked as a “companion” or domestic helper, always keeping her son with her, and writing about her experiences. They ended up in a small outpost called Welch, near Williams, Ariz., where Elisa took a job as a railroad telegrapher for the Santa Fe Railroad. They both enjoyed the Grand Canyon, making the mule-back trip to the bottom and back, every summer for seven years.

After a few years of riding to public school in a caboose, Charlie, at 13, was enrolled in the Puget Sound Naval Academy, on Bainbridge Island, in Washington state. His mother wanted him to have some male influence and the discipline of a private school. This is where he met his first girlfriend, Nancy. He graduated with honors in 1950 and joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1951.

Charlie completed his basic training at Alameda, Calif., and served on Coast Guard Cutter Bering Strait in 1951. He completed the 24-week radio operators course (for Morse Code) in Groton, Conn., in 1952. He was stationed in Westport, Wash.; served on the CGC Fir on Ocean Station Sugar, and from there returned to CG bases in Seattle and Bremerton, until his honorable discharge.

During his 15 years in television production at KIRO and KOMO, he “ran camera” for the popular children’s show, “J.P. Patches”. He filmed the Blue Angels’ flights at Seafair, and also expertly followed the hydroplane races.

He also worked as crew for the hydroplane Miss Thriftway, Seattle winner in 1957 and 1960.

Charlie loved writing, and had articles published by Nor’Westing Magazine, Classic Trains, AOPA Pilots’ Magazine, Readers’ Digest, the District 13 Coast Guard newsletter, and by many newspapers. He worked for the Journal of the San Juans for five years, “setting type” on a computer, and submitting occasional articles and photos.

While living on San Juan Island, Charlie spent more than two years of part-time writing to create his novel, The Academy.

At a high school reunion on Bainbridge Island, Charlie and Nancy met each other again after both were widowed. They remarried in 1990, and have lived in their Roche Harbor home for almost a quarter of a century.

As Alzheimer’s disease became more apparent, he was lovingly cared for at home by some very special caregivers, guided by Hospice principles. He kept his love of music, his sense of humor, and his warmth to the very end. He will be sadly missed.

Charlie loved San Juan Island and didn’t want to be anywhere else.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his two children, Greg Lindenberg and Suzanne Knowles, and his stepdaughter, Renee´ Peck.

Services will be held at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11:30 a.m.

Burial will take place at San Juan Valley Cemetery, on Madden Lane.

— Family of Charlie Lindenberg