One lifetime doesn’t seem like enough to have contained all the living John Lindemans did in his 84 years on Earth. His larger-than-life personality, humor and zest for life will live on in the hearts and minds of the many who will treasure his memory always, even as they mourn his passing. He left this world on April 7, 2020, just as the super moon shown in all its glory.
John was born Dec. 21, 1935 in Rotterdam Holland. Hardship marked his early years, as he and his family endured Nazi occupation in Holland when he was 5 through 9 years old. Those years were traumatic, but also cemented a close and loving relationship with his parents and siblings. What would have permanently scarred many gave John strength and wisdom which he used to live a fulfilling and exciting life.
As a young man in Holland, John crewed on tugboats and tall sailing ships and traveled around the world, then was inducted in the Dutch Army and proudly served his native Holland. He came to the United States at the age of 22 to join his two brothers and ultimately met his first wife, Jean.
John and Jean settled on the central coast of California, where they raised four beautiful children in a fantastic house designed and built by John in honor of his heritage; a working, Dutch windmill house. There, John pursued his beloved hobby of restoring and driving horse-drawn vehicles. He restored many, including a 1904 landau carriage in which he took his family to church every Sunday in the town of Los Osos, Calif. John lived with Jean until her untimely death at age 49, which was devastating to John.
Life still had plans for John, though, and soon he met his second wife, Paula, with whom he spent 30 wonderful years. In 1994, John and Paula moved to Oak Harbor, Wash., where they owned and operated Coachman Construction and built 40 homes on Whidbey Island. Over the years John spoke at many service organizations and at Oak Harbor High School to share his early days in occupied Holland. He also wrote a book chronicling his experience.
John will be remembered as a great storyteller, a man who might burst into song at any moment, a talented artist and builder and an unforgettable character. If you had the pleasure of meeting John, you probably remember him with a smile on your face. A Celebration of John’s Life is pending and will be held at a later date; please check Wallin website for updates.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in John’s memory to Operation Smile at 3641 Faculty Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23453