Wilbert John Lindstrom, age 97, was full of years and full of faith. He died peacefully Tuesday evening, August 2, 2016, at Pine Crest Nursing Home. Ruth, his wife of 70+years, was by his side. Wilbert was born in Merrill on August 19, 1918 to John & Julia (Bjork) Lindstrom in their house on Wisconsin Street. “Wibs” was John and Julia’s oldest son of the three children born in their marriage. He joined 7 older siblings from John’s first marriage. Wilbert is the last of his generation. He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia, his older siblings and his brother and sister, Joseph Lindstrom and Margaret Bondioli. Wib’s oldest son, Daniel preceded him in death in 2008. Wilbert is survived by his beloved wife, Ruth and his four remaining children: David, Racine, Wisconsin; Julia (Roy) Eberhardt, Oaxaca Mexico; James (Vivette), Plainview, Texas; and Paul, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He also is dearly loved by his eight grandchildren, Nikki and John (Pam), David’s children, Michael (Amber) and Andy (Sarah), Jim’s children, Joy (Luke), Ann, and Hope, Julia’s children and Matthew, Paul’s son. Wilbert also has 13 great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter. Wilbert was part of the great generation that made such a difference to our world today. He served in World War II in salvage and repair department as part of the European theatre. He was justly honored in 2012 by traveling with his son, Paul on a “Never Forgotten Honor Flight” for World War II veterans. Wibs and Ruth married on March 9, 1946 at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Merrill and remained faithful members for many years until it finally closed. In the church’s productive years, Wibs served in many areas of ministry, especially teaching adult Bible studies. Wibs worked at Weinbrenner Shoe Factory as a “lasting” machine operator and occasionally subbed as a night watchmen for 29 years until 1964. The Lord supplied a job at Wisconsin Public Service doing janitorial and maintenance work until 1983. It was a job he loved. He worked among people he loved and who loved him. Not only was he known as “worker bee Lindstrom” but was affectionately called “the cookie monster”. After 48 working years he retired.
Soon after retiring, Wibs and Ruth took their blessings south. Spending their winter months in Arizona, Wibs and Ruth happily served Grace Community Covenant Church in Tucson, Arizona. They also served Wycliffe Bible Translators as volunteers at their headquarters north of Tucson. When wanderlust struck their hearts they found themselves in places like the Holy Land, Alaska, and their ancestral land of the Aland Islands near Sweden. “tack for maten” In 2005 they moved back to Merrill for the last time. As Wibs said, “beautiful Wisconsin”. Currently they are members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. The life of Wibs and Ruth always centered around the churches they attended. They gave gladly and generously, blessing the many people they came in contact with. Among Wib’s many many activities were hunting and fishing, leading Cub Scouts, teaching hunter safety, participating in the Alliance for Mental health, serving on the Holy Cross Hospital board, woodworking, gardening, reading, and carpentry. The character of Wibs can be illustrated by the Pepsi beach. This is the property of the Lindstroms, but they maintained it, including supplying the rafts. This they did for as many years as they were able, benefiting the many young people in the community.
The kindness, faithfulness, and gentle stability of this man will be sorely missed. God Bless you Wilbert as you enjoy the Lord’s presence and see Him face to face. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favorite charity. Funeral Services for Wilbert will be held on Monday, August 8, 2016, at 11am at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill. Pastor Susan Christian will officiate. Military honors will be performed by the Merrill VFW Post #1638, immediately following the service. Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 7, 2016 from 4pm to 8pm at Waid Funeral Home, and again on Monday, August 8, 2016 at 10am until the time of the service, at the church. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com