Leaving behind a legacy that reaches far beyond what any firework show would do justice, Weber State University supporter and alumnus John A. Lindquist died in his sleep on Sunday. He was 93 years old.
Lindquist was devoted to WSU and the Ogden community it served. He acted as a member of the WSU Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1995. He helped beautify the campus with the Ada Lindquist Plaza and the Lindquist Alumni Center.
Throughout the years, he and his wife Telitha E. Lindquist generously supported athletic, cultural and academic programs and activities at WSU. The WSU College of Arts and Humanities bears his wife’s name.
Madonne Miner, the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said the Lindquists were a remarkable couple who “radically improved the lives of individuals in this college.”
“I think he wanted specifically to honor Telitha’s great love for and many contributions to the College of Arts and Humanities,” Miner said. “He, too, was someone who came to our concerts, came to arts openings, was engaged in and enjoyed the arts and humanities.”
Lindquist and his wife sponsored arts and humanities fellowships that both faculty and students could apply to for funding to engage in creative projects. Miner recalled memories of sitting in the Lindquist home showing them reports that detailed exactly what the students and faculty members had done.
“Their gift of an endowment to the arts and humanities has meant that this college has been able to support its faculty, staff and students in ways that are tremendously beneficial to higher education,” Miner said.
She also said the Lindquists were proud of what was done with the fellowship money.
Miner described Lindquist as a warm, fun human being who could make a joke out of anything. She said she was impressed with his sharp mind and that she was honored to meet him and spend time with him and his wife over the last couple of years.
“I think that students might look to John and Tita as models of thoughtful, generous, kind human beings who really believe in the benefits of higher education,” Miner said.
Lindquist spent his life building up Ogden and the surrounding areas. The Weber Economic Development Corporation and Ogden Industrial Development Corporation were created with his help. Charles Wight, WSU president, said Lindquist was a giant in the community.
“He had given many things to Weber State University and also to the greater community of Ogden,” Wight said. “I will remember him most by his generosity and the generosity of his entire family in many ways towards Weber State University.”
Although Wight only knew Lindquist for a few months, he said Lindquist called him for a visit at the mortuary where Lindquist was the CEO.
“I was actually surprised he was at work. But he did that a lot. He was a fiercely independent guy,” Wight said. “He had a very strong sense of duty, and often, even when he was quite ill, you could find him at work.”
Lindquist’s sense of duty led him through a career in the military during World War II, where he served as a bombardier-navigator in the United States Air Force. He was part of the original committee that funded the building of the Hill Air Force Museum and restored WWII planes.
Lindquist had sponsored the annual Lindquist Family Symphony Pops and Fireworks event, held this year on July 14, for more than 25 years.
“I’m sure that some people will take a moment to remember John at this year’s fireworks,” Wight said. “I haven’t heard of anything official that has been planned, but it’s hard to imagine that we would let it go by without saying something very special about him.”