Allan L. Lindblom (July 2, 1933 – December 15, 2019)
Four young American airmen hailed a cab in 1954 Biloxi, Mississippi. The driver took one look at the group. "I can take you three or I can take him," he said, pointing at the one airman of color. "I can't take you all together." The driver explained that Jim Crow laws made it illegal to take a fare that "mixed" races. One of those airmen leaned in and told the driver if he wouldn't take all of them, they would walk. It was miles back to base, but worth every step to Al Lindblom. His moral compass pointed to no other path.
Al was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 2, 1933, on a farm so far in the middle of nowhere his birth certificate lists only coordinates. He came in to this world with a remarkable sense of duty and honor—so much so that from an age so young his shot gun was as big as he was, he hunted small game for furs to sell so he could help his family earn money.
Following his high school graduation in Morris, MN, and shortly after he and his family moved to Beatrice. Al spent the summer of 1952 driving to California and back, where he fell in love with adventure and the girl who made milkshakes at a local soda fountain. Al married the love of his life, Beverly Anne Gaines, on December 12, 1952 in Beatrice, NE. After enlisting in the Air Force in 1953, the two of them would raise their boys, Ronald-Allan (Ron), and James (Jim) Francis, on Air Force bases all over the world—including Alaska and Germany. Though May 1, 1976, saw Allan retiring as Chief Master Sergeant with respect and honor at Fort Dix, New Jersey, his service to his country did not end there. He continued his work in the private sector and his second retirement told of over 40 years in the aerospace industry.
Al's dedication to his country was only matched by his dedication to family and friends. Al always had sage advice and a story for any given circumstance. Further, his years abroad not only refined his taste for good breads and cheeses, he would also perfect his mean skills at the barbeque—talents his loved ones benefited from regularly! After his son, Jim, passed away in California in 1986, he helped raise his grandsons, Joshua and Brett. He held his family to the same high standard of integrity and responsibility as he did those in his command. However, empowering others to do for themselves did not mean a lack of compassion. He might let you fall but would catch you before you hit the ground. No one under his watch would ever be cold or hungry, and he was selfless in his support.
In 2001, he and Bev moved to the Regent Square neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA, so they could live near their son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Penny, as well as their grandson and granddaughter in law, Brett and Kristie. When Bev left his side to make their home in heaven in 2003, he remained a quiet, steady hand for the family left behind.
His years in Regent Square were spent on his terms. He looked forward to a daily afternoon martini with his son, Ron, who would always stop in on his way home from work. He enjoyed golfing with Ron at Grandview, and when he could no longer play one could always find the majors playing on his TV. Those that tried to keep up with him on the NYT Sunday Crossword each week learned as much vocabulary as wisdom because a story went with each word. Long distance family and friends could expect a weekly (at minimum) call or email. You might also find him singing old cowboy songs to himself while he prepared a meal.
One of the greatest joys of his years in Regent Square was sharing the other half of his duplex with Brett, Kristie, and their two children, for 14 years. From the moment his great-grandchildren came home from the hospital, their presence revealed the hidden tenderness of his heart as he held those babies and delighted in watching them grow. It's fair to say he saved their young parents' sanity and their marriage as he was always available with an extra set of hands and a dose of perspective. His great-grandchildren will remember scampering into his living room after school in their uniforms for club crackers and homework help. Inevitably, homework help would turn in to life lessons as he would pull the large atlas off the shelf and amaze the whole family with tales of his adventures.
On December 15, 2019, he left this world with his son Ron by his side. Allan L. Lindblom lived his life, and will be remembered, as a man of faith, duty, and honor. He is survived by his sister, Sharon Lottman and husband Dean of Odell, NE; his son, Ronald-Allan Lindblom and his wife, Penny of Pittsburgh, PA; daughter-in-law, Mindy Downum; her husband, Larry of CA; and her son, Hayden; his grandsons, Brett and Josh, and their wives, Kristie and Jessica; his seven great-grandchildren, Seamus, Emelie, Daphne, Jacob, Markus, Quinlin, and Austin; sisters-in-law, JuDee Gonzalez and husband Eli of CO, and Sharon Gaines of CA; brother-in-law, Chuck Gaines of CA and countless nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, Charlotte and Ole Lindblom; wife, Bev; son, Jim Lindblom; brother, Don Lindblom and wife Phyllis; sister, Maxine Salts and husband Ben; parents-in-law, Hazel and Aubrey Gaines; sister-in-law, Lois Gaines; and brother-in-law, Ken Gaines.
Memorial services were held January 14, 2020 in Pittsburgh, PA. Inurnment was at the Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA. A guestbook is available at www.harmanwrightmortuary.com. Harman-Wright Mortuary.
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