C. John Lindegren Jr. ’39, World War II veteran, longtime Worcester business leader, and a WPI trustee emeritus, died April 2, 2014, at the age of 97. A resident of Shrewsbury, Mass., at the time of his death, he was born in Worcester on May 17, 1916, the son of Carl John and Emma (Lindberg) Lindegren Sr.
Lindegren attended high school in Cranston, R.I., and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at WPI. As a WPI student, he was managing editor of the school newspaper and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
He remained an ardent and loyal supporter of the university for the next 75 years, serving on the Alumni Fund Board for several years and as chairman of his Class Reunion Committee. He was a member of the WPI Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1991, when he was elected a trustee emeritus. He was a member of the Presidential Founders, which recognizes those who have contributed between $100,000 and $500,000 to the university. In 1984 the WPI Alumni Association recognized Lindegren for his dedication to the university with the Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to WPI.
A retired Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Lindegren was on active duty for more than four years during World War II. While based in Miami, he served as commanding officer of a submarine chaser along the Eastern Seaboard, engineering officer of the Sub Chaser Training Center and the Gulf Sea Frontier, and commanding officer of a ship recovery company.
After the war, Lindegren and his father founded Lindco Inc. in Worcester. Dedicated to the sale of mechanical engineering equipment throughout New England, the company expanded into the design and manufacture of pneumatic control systems for the electric power industry, with offices in Worcester and Springfield, Mass. With the rising demand for ball screws (a kind of mechanical fastener) within New England's machine tool industry, Lindco became the largest stocking distributor and converter of industrial and precision ball screws in the United States.
At Lindco, Lindegren met his future bride, Cecelia (Cis). They married in 1955 and raised five children. The family spent summers in Chatham, Mass., where he imparted his love of the ocean and boating to his children. The Lindegrens were members of the Stage Harbor Yacht Club in Chatham, where he served on the executive committee, was fleet captain, and served a term as commodore. He enjoyed cruising Nantucket Sound and cheering his children on in the weekly sailboat races.
An avid fisherman, Lindegren treasured his annual salmon fishing trips to the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. He and his wife also traveled extensively for business and pleasure across the United States, in Europe and Australia, and later, fulfilling a lifelong dream, to New Zealand.
For many years, he was a member of the Worcester Country Club, where he bowled and golfed. More recently, he was a member of several golf courses in southeast Florida, including the Ocean Golf Club of Hutchinson Island, where he played in weekly tournaments. He played 18 holes into his 90s.
Lindegren supported and was actively involved in many civic organizations and dedicated himself to activities that he believed improved the lives of others. He was a member of the Quinsigamond Lodge of Masons, the Scottish Rite Bodies, and the Aleppo Shriners. For many years he also was a trustee and board chairman of Fairlawn Hospital in Worcester (now Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital). He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury for over 50 years, serving as trustee, moderator, and canvas committee chairman.
John was predeceased by Cis, his wife of 56 years, and his sister Ruth (Lindegren) Linden. He is survived by four daughters and one son, along with seven grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury on Friday, April 25, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow in Gifford Hall. Interment with Naval Military Honors occurred on April 5.
In lieu of flowers and in keeping with John's long-held passion for supporting the education of future mechanical engineers, memorial contributions may be made to the C. John Lindegren Jr. Scholarship fund at WPI (attn: Gift Recording, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609).