Kenmore to remember art show co-founder Lindstrom

Roland Lindstrom died at the age of 88 on Jan. 17 and will be remembered at a memorial service on Sunday.

Roland Lindstrom celebrates his 85th birthday. <em>Courtesy of Gretchen Pigott</em>

Roland Lindstrom celebrates his 85th birthday. Courtesy of Gretchen Pigott

Roland Lindstrom, a local art enthusiast and co-founder of the Kenmore Art Show, died at the age of 88 on Jan. 17 and will be remembered at a memorial service on Sunday.

Lindstrom and his wife Florence Lindstrom founded the art show in 1998. They were both active in the community and promoted local art throughout their lives.

“Roland’s great passions in life were sailing, design, travel, art, Swedish heritage and community service,” his obituary, which ran in the Seattle Times, reads. “He joins his wife of 63 years, Florence, in her heavenly ‘mansion.’”

Roland and Florence earned art degrees from the University of Washington and built their home in Kenmore between 1959 and 1960.

Roland was born in Lake Forest Park only days after the Great Depression began. And while he didn’t have much money growing up, his daughter Gretchen Pigott said he described life on Lake Washington as an amazing time.

“The community there at Lake Forest Park really shared amongst the families, so there was always food on the table and good friends,” Pigott said. “I really think that resonated with him throughout his life because he was really quick to help neighbors and friends.”

Arts of Kenmore held its first trial Kenmore Art Show at the Northlake Lutheran Church in 1998 and the nonprofit will soon put on its 20th show. Each show was held at the church until Roland resigned as the chairman due to health issues in 2011 and the show moved to Bastyr University.

According to Arts of Kenmore’s Jo Ann Evans, Roland and Florence had the idea to start the show after Kenmore became a city. Evans worked closely with the organization and Roland and helped carry on the tradition after he retired.

“He and Florence, a long-time art teacher in the Seattle school district, felt Kenmore should have its own art show,” Evans said. “This inspired them to found the Arts of Kenmore as a nonprofit umbrella organization under which the Kenmore Art Show and other arts-related events operated.”

Arts of Kenmore is active in the Kenmore art scene and aside from hosting various community events, the organization runs the Kenmore City Hall Gallery. The organization credits Roland and Florence for starting the mission that it continues to this day.

The Kenmore Heritage Society honored Roland for his work in the community when it awarded him the annual McMaster Heritage Award in 2005. According to Pigott, Roland never hesitated to offer help to anyone and even left a family dinner to drive a neighbor home from a bus stop.

“He had a deep sense of community service and a deep sense of faith,” she said. “He didn’t do things with the idea of leaving behind a legacy. He did it just to help the community.”

Aside from design and art, Roland had a deep passion for sailing that he carried throughout his time in the U.S. Navy and up until his final years. Pigott recalled a time when her father wanted to buy a sailboat and live on Lake Washington.

Roland is remembered by his three children, five grandchildren, two great grandchildren and numerous extended family and friends. According to Pigott, he’s greatly missed among Northlake Lutheran Church-goers and the memorial service is expected to be well-attended.

“There is a Swedish saying that is a fitting tribute to his strong character,” Pigott wrote in Roland’s obituary. “‘Roland är en person att hålla I handen när åskan går.’ (Meaning) Roland is a person to hold your hand when the thunderstorm goes.”

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