HOLLISTER J. LINDLEY

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - IN MEMORY -

Lindley, Hollister J., passed away Fri­day, Novem­ber 3, 2017. If you’re read­ing this, I am gone. I was born in Oak Park Illi­nois to Wal­ter and Dorothy Lindley. The fam­ily moved to Honolulu when I was three years old. So Honolulu was al­ways what I con­sider home. I was an active and pre­co­cious child and be­gan study­ing at Pu­na­hou in the first grade. I was all arms and legs and pretty good size feet. The swim coach saw a per­fect swim­ming build and that be­gan 10 years of 5 a.m. in the pool, out at 7:30 to go to class, back in at 3, out at 5, home­work, din­ner, and bed. Given my en­ergy lev­els, swim­ming prob­a­bly al­lowed me to do well in school. I made many friends at Pu­na­hou that I still kept in touch with un­til my death.

One year at the Univer­sity of Den­ver was enough of high desert, so I re­turned to Honolulu and en­rolled in the Univer­sity of Hawaii. I stud­ied drama and the­ater and French. A vol­canol­ogy class and a chem­istry class to keep things in­ter­est­ing. I grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Hawaii in 1974. My mom was a mul­ti­ple As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager and I learned a great deal work­ing for my mother. As an only child, I was of­ten in the kitchen with my mom who was a very good cook. It was a pas­sion­ate hobby of mine un­til ALS took it away.

My first mar­riage took me from Honolulu to New Eng­land. I be­gan work­ing for the New Eng­land Chap­ter of one of the as­so­ci­a­tions my mother ran in Honolulu. From there I got into sales. My first sales ter­ri­tory was Maine, Vermont, New Hamp­shire, Mas­sachusetts, Rhode Is­land and I quit when they gave me up­state New York. Next job took me to Philadel­phia and an equally large sales ter­ri­tory. My work in that re­gion led to a pro­mo­tion to the home of­fice. It took a while to ad­just to Erie Penn­syl­va­nia, but I made some won­der­ful friends I kept for years. While re­spon­si­ble for op­er­at­ing room ta­bles at Amer­i­can Ster­il­izer, I was ap­proached by an or­tho­pe­dic com­pany in War­saw Indiana for prod­uct man­age­ment po­si­tion. First day on the job I read Camp­bell’s In­tra­op­er­a­tive Ortho­pe­dics, cover to cover, twice. It was a fas­ci­nat­ing job and al­lowed me to bring some prod­ucts to mar­ket that changed the way we do or­tho­pe­dic surgery. I then be­came the di­rec­tor of field mar­ket­ing for Zim­mer and cov­ered eastern United States. Based out of Wilm­ing­ton Delaware, I built up some fre­quent flyer miles to man­age my staff of six. Dur­ing this time, my fa­ther died and my mother be­came ex­tremely ill with Guil­lain-Barre syn­drome. I left Zim­mer to care for my mother. Af­ter months of hard work, my mother re­cov­ered well enough to re­turn home. A phone call from an old friend changed ev­ery­thing. The old friend asked me where I wanted to live. I said first Rich­mond Vir­ginia, sec­ond Baltimore Mary­land or third, we all stay in the Philly area. Well, the job my friend knew about was in Rich­mond.

I came to Rich­mond to work for Owens and Mi­nor. It was dif­fer­ent, but it was re­ward­ing and chal­leng­ing. It was a fas­ci­nat­ing few years and I al­ways said I learned a lot from those guys. Af­ter Owens and Mi­nor and start­ing the Vir­ginia Biotech­nol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion, I worked with VCU un­der a De­part­ment of Com­merce grant to ex­change biotech­nol­ogy with Rus­sia. It was chal­leng­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing and very ex­otic for a woman that grew up with the Asian cul­tures. I learned enough Rus­sian to in­tro­duce my­self, find the re­stroom, and or­der food. A re­spect for the Rus­sian peo­ple and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of their cul­ture stayed with me.

When my mother moved to town, I re­tired early and be­came a per­sonal trainer and wa­ter aer­o­bics in­struc­tor. Then came the gig for writ­ing restau­rant re­views for Rich­mond mag­a­zine, prob­a­bly one of the most fun jobs out of all the ones I held. I had a great deal of fun watch­ing the food scene grow and be­come more so­phis­ti­cated in Rich­mond. And they all are such great peo­ple.

My mother came to Rich­mond to ad­dress some of her health strug­gles, pass­ing away in 2006. As an only child, it was a very tough time for me. But with sup­port from friends, I got through that era and moved on.

I did not know it at the time but the first symp­tom of ALS came in 2008 when I was out on the West Coast vis­it­ing cousins. I dropped my chop­sticks, which doesn’t sound im­por­tant un­til you re­al­ize I grew up in Honolulu and could use chop­sticks be­fore I could use a fork. The weak­ness in the right hand con­tin­ued and even­tu­ally the ul­nar nerve was repo­si­tioned. The hand got bet­ter for a while, then it got worse. A re­fer­ral to the UVA neu­rol­ogy de­part­ment started a long process of di­ag­no­sis. I had a prob­a­ble di­ag­no­sis in 2009 but, cor­rectly, I was not told by the spe­cial­ists un­til the de­fin­i­tive di­ag­no­sis of ALS in the fall of 2011.

Need­ing to feel use­ful, I be­came an ad­vo­cate for aware­ness of ALS. The Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch fol­lowed me and other ALS pa­tients bring­ing aware­ness to the dis­ease. I wrote a blog, lob­bied Congress and did what I could do to ex­plain this rare dis­ease to oth­ers. I will al­ways be grate­ful to my friends in the restau­rant in­dus­try who helped raise money to cure this dis­ease. And it will be cured, but not in my life­time.

If you want to honor me and our friend­ships, do­nate to sup­port ALS Re­search at Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. Do­na­tions will fur­ther the im­por­tant re­search un­der­way to iden­tify new treat­ments that will one day help ALS pa­tients around the globe. Checks can be mailed to: Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Tricia Keck/De­vel­op­ment Of­fice, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Bos­ton, Mass. 02114. In the memo line note: in honor of Hollister Lindley. Do­na­tions can be made on­line at https://giv­ing.mass­gen­eral.org/ways-to-give/ (Se­lect: I am mak­ing this gift in honor or mem­ory of some­body and note Hollister Lindley).

I will miss you all, and mostly my amaz­ing hus­band, Rich Kern. But I am free! Cel­e­brate my friends.

A cel­e­bra­tion of Hollister’s life will be held 3 to 5 p.m. Sun­day, Novem­ber 19, 2017, at The Woman’s Club, 211 East Franklin Street, fol­lowed by a party from 6 to 9 p.m. at South­bound, 3036 Stony Point Road. NO MOURN­ING AT­TIRE PLEASE, dress is ca­sual. This is a cel­e­bra­tion.

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