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Lindeblad honored

By Brock Hires

Okanogan Living

Compassionate, generous and a mentor. Those were the words community leaders, students and past and present Wenatchee Valley College faculty, foundation members and trustees use to describe former professor David Lindeblad at a sculpture dedication in his honor last month.

Lindeblad, who began teaching science, history, philosophy and communications courses at WVC at Omak in 1978, died at the age of 70 in 2019.

The school honored him in 2012 as Wenatchee Valley College “Faculty Member of the Year.”

Wenatchee Valley College at Omak Campus Life and Diversity Coordinator Edith Gomez described Lindeblad as a “remarkable individual who has left a meaningful legacy on our community.”

“This fish sculpture reflects David Lindeblad’s enduring commitment to the wellbeing of our community,” she said of the metal sculpture created by Okanogan resident Dan Brown. “This fish sculpture also represents David’s love of fly fishing, a passion of his; May this fish sculpture become a lasting tribune and serve as a symbol of the enduring legacy of David Lindablad’s service to our community and our students. As we celebrate this dedication, let us carry forward David’s spirit and generosity, compassion and wisdom, in all that we do.”

During the cermenoy, in which dozens of people attended, several spoke of Lindeblad’s ability to bridge the gap between different culture, political beliefs, and his passion for fly fishing.

Omak Chamber of Commerce President Brian Ellis and former student spoke to Lindeblad’s willingness to go above-and-beyond to build relationships with students.

“I had great mentors, people here, that I love and always will,” Ellis said. “But no one took the time, sat down with me and spent the amount of time that David did.”

Ellis said Lindeblad also taught his wife and daughter.

“When it was time for my wife and daughter to graduate, they wanted to go on stage together. But that was not going to happen,” Ellis recalled. “David said, ‘We’ll make it happen.’ He was bound and determined to get them on stage together and David made that happen.

Ellis said when he was going through a rough time in life, Lindeblad was there for him and “that man made me a better person.”

Lindeblad’s wife Betty Fry shared a letter a former student had written about how Lindeblad helped her to graduate with honors.

“Dave Lindeblad made time to talk to me,” the letter said. “He…was kind and understanding.”

Fry shared several of Lindeblad’s favorite quotes and a letter he had written her.

“That’s why we’re all here, because he gave roses to us, too,” Fry said. “He was kind and thoughtful.”

Livia Millard, who shared an office next door to Lindeblad recalled having morning coffee with him and discussing politics and current world events. She also applauded the Wenatchee Valley College at Omak Student Government for supporting the funding of the sculpture.

In addition to his work at Wenatchee Valley College, Lindeblad chaired the Omak Chamber of Commerce for two years; chaired and later was a member of the boards for the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus and the Performing Arts Center. He was also a member of the Okanogan County Historical Society and was a longtime member of the Okanogan Flyfishing Club.

Helping students with college expenses was important to Lindeblad, Gomez said. As a result, the David A. Lindeblad Memorial Book Fund was established through the WVC at Omak Foundation. Students may apply for and receive up to $75 per quarter for book expenses.

Students can apply for book funds through the WVC at Omak Financial Aid Office, and donations to the fund can be made through the WVC at Omak Foundation, 25 N. Ash St., P.O. Box 1374, Omak, WA., 98841.



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