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Bob and Jeanne Lindman

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The story of Jeanne Anderson and Bob Lindman began in the summer of 1940, when they were born six weeks apart at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Illinois.

Bob’s grandparents had immigrated to the United States from Sweden and had settled in Rockford because of the large Swedish community living there. Bob’s father,

Martin Lindman, attended Northwestern University, became a doctor, and met Bob’s mother, who was a nurse at the Chicago Maternity Center. Together they worked delivering babies in family homes. They were married during the depression

and moved to Rockford, where Bob’s dad became a successful surgeon.

Jeanne’s grandfather was born in a sod hut on the plains of Nebraska. Her father, Rodney Anderson, and one of his brothers became farmers, but during the depression in 1934, they lost the farm and had no other means to support their families. Their

other brother was working for National Lock in Rockford, so Jeanne’s dad and uncle

left Nebraska and moved to Rockford, where they were also able to obtain jobs

at National Lock. Rodney Anderson began his career as a tool and die maker

earning fifteen cents an hour. He worked at National Lock for forty-two years.

Bob and Jeanne were raised in strong Christian families. They both accepted Christ into their hearts in 1952, when they were twelve years old. That was an important decision that has guided them throughout their lives. That same year, Bob’s father became seriously ill and was never able to practice medicine again. This had a profound

impact on their family. Bob’s mother returned to work and became a school nurse

to support the family. At age twelve, Bob also went to work after school and during

the summers. His jobs included working on a farm, at a local drug store, and at

his church Bible camp as a lifeguard and groundskeeper. Later he worked as

a surveyor, building bridges and abutments for the Illinois tollway.

Jeanne also began working as a young girl. She started in a drug store stocking shelves and waiting on customers. She then worked in the office of a construction company, where she continued throughout her high school years. A pivotal moment in their lives occurred when Bob chose Jeanne as his square dance partner in eighth grade gym class. Bob had noticed Jeanne was very different from other girls he had dated. She displayed a kindness that was apparent in how she treated people and was unabashed in her faith. During high school, Bob and Jeanne fell madly in love and made plans to marry when they graduated. On August 16, 1958, they began their married life together.

Jeanne continued to work for the construction company, and Bob went to work for Mohawk Carpet Mills as a sales person covering northern Illinois and Iowa. He was the youngest person they had ever hired in that role. In 1965, Bob and Jeanne decided to pursue their dream of owning a retail commercial flooring business. Through relationships established while Bob was at Mohawk and with God’s blessing, Lindman’s Carpet Manor grew into one of the largest flooring companies in Illinois.

Bob and Jeanne have always had a love of water, and they bought their first boat

during their first year of marriage. Over the years, they enjoyed fourteen more boats

of various shapes and sizes. Their family grew to six with the addition of two sons

and two daughters, and they were able to build a vacation home in beautiful Lake

Mills, Wisconsin. This lake home was the family retreat for fifty-two years. Physical activity was always a priority for the entire family. In addition to boating and

water sports, the family enjoyed cross country and downhill skiing and long bike

trips with friends. Bob played golf and ran twenty-five miles a week for thirty years. Jeanne played a lot of team tennis and dominated anyone (usually men) who

had the audacity to challenge her in a leg wrestling contest.

A foundational component in the lives of the Lindmans has been their commitment

to community service. Jeanne was active in Junior League and served as president

of Protestant Community Services. She also served on many church boards and committees. Bob served on bank boards, church councils, and the Island Water Company board. He has also been police and fire commissioner, public school referendum chair, and president of Kiwanis. A highlight of his work with Kiwanis

was the founding of the Golden Agers Center in Rockford, where hundreds of struggling seniors could receive nutritious meals. The entire family spent

many holidays together cooking and serving food at the center.

In 1983, for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Bob and Jeanne visited Sanibel

and Captiva. They were enthralled with the area, and before the vacation was over,

they had purchased a condo on Sanibel. Since that day, they have explored near

and far regions of South Florida, traveling thousands of miles by boat with friends

and family. They have very fond memories of the wonderful destinations and special fellowship on these trips. Discovering Sanibel has brought them a lifetime of joy,

with the greatest joy being the incredible people they have met on their journey.

In 1996, thirty years after starting their flooring company, the Lindmans had the opportunity to sell the company to Shaw Industries, a Fortune 500 company and leader in the flooring industry. Bob continued to work with Shaw, running the Lindman division and building a new company for Shaw in Milwaukee. In 1999, Bob and Jeanne received devasting news. Jeanne was diagnosed with lymphocytic lymphoma and leukemia and was given two to four years to live. As a result of having sold their business earlier, Bob was able to retire and use his time to focus on Jeanne’s health. She was admitted into an experimental drug program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and by the grace of God, this protocol saved Jeanne’s life. Her health has been monitored closely, and she has been back to Texas thirty-five times for tests and follow-up scans. Thankfully, the illness has not impacted her active lifestyle.

1999 was also the year that the Lindmans helped launch a charity called Kids Around the World. This faith based, evangelical Christian ministry serves refugee camps, orphanages, and impoverished children in third world countries. The structure

of the program includes three interconnected endeavors:

•     Building playgrounds (over 1,000 thus far)

•     Providing meals (over 10 million per year)

•     Training local Christian leaders to spread the gospel of Jesus

The Lindmans have been active board members at Kids Around the World for more than twenty years, and through this ministry, they have traveled with mission teams to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, China, Thailand, Jamaica, Vietnam, and Ecuador. These trips have included many incredible experiences. One example was during one of Bob’s early trips to Cuba. On the day they arrived, a Cuban Baptist minister, who also worked as an advisor to Fidel Castro, invited Bob and his team to come to a meeting at one of the local churches. It turned out to be a celebration welcoming the young boy, Elian Gonzalez, back to Cuba from Miami. Bob was seated on the aisle directly across from Fidel Castro. At the end of the meeting, Bob and the team were asked to come to the back of the church, because Fidel Castro wanted to know the purpose of their trip to Cuba. After speaking through an interpreter for twenty to thirty minutes, Castro was satisfied that they were in Cuba just to build a playground.

An important aspect of their Kids Around the World trips is that many of their family members have been part of the building and ministry teams. In this way, Bob and Jeanne are passing on their values of community and Christian service to

their four children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Since retiring to Sanibel, the Lindmans have attended and volunteered at Sanibel Community Church, where they continue to be involved in Bible studies and various classes. They both play golf several times a week and take bike rides together. Bob biked eighty miles for his eightieth birthday in 2020. Jeanne was the longest running active team tennis player in Lee County, but after twenty-five years, she recently had to give up tennis because of a foot injury. She fills her time with Bible studies, gourmet cooking, playing bridge, sending hundreds of encouragement cards each year to friends, and knitting afghans for all of their children and grandchildren. She has also started glass fusing and is thoroughly enjoying creating new works of art. In August 2021, Bob and Jeanne will celebrate their sixty-third wedding anniversary.

Over the years, many friends of Bob and Jeanne have become part of the Shell

Point community. When it came time for them to plan their future, there was no question where they would go. Jeanne calls Shell Point her last resort and says it

is the best gift they could give to their kids. They are both enjoying the many

amenities and the awesome people they have met at Shell Point. They are

gratified by their choice and eagerly anticipate the years to come.

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