HOLLISTER J. LINDLEY
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.