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Robert D Lindenau


Bob Lindenau loved music.

He played classical guitar, and told his wife that if he should die, a recording of guitarist John Williams performing Bach’s Chaconne in D-minor should be played at his funeral. On Saturday morning, the plaintive four-bar theme of the chaconne will resonate in the sanctuary of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Stanwood.

Army Major Robert D. Lindenau, 39, was killed Oct. 20 by a rocket-propelled grenade that hit his vehicle in Charbagh, Afghanistan. Lindenau was serving there as a member of the 91st Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) from Fort Bragg, N.C.

He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Tonya, who grew up a member of the extended Bloom family on Camano Island and graduated from Stanwood High School in 1989. Also surviving are their children: Rachael, 12; Gabe, 10; Sarah, 8; and Hannah, 6. His parents preceded him in death, and his surviving brother and sister and their families live in Idaho.

Lindenau was a family man filled with faith, Tonya Lindenau said.

“He repeatedly said that the best evidence that he had of God’s love for him was his wife and children,” she said. “Bob was a wonderful, loyal friend who listened well and encouraged others to see the goodness in one another.”

He liked fishing, hunting, hiking and camping with his family, and, of course, playing his guitar when he had any spare time, his wife said. Lindenau was born Aug. 22, 1969, in Seattle. In the mid-1990s, he attended the University of Idaho, where he graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and classical guitar performance

After working as a mechanic in various positions in a direct support maintenance company, he attended the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School in 1999, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in field artillery. His last assignment was as a civil affairs officer, working with Afghan families and children. A medical clinic there is being named in his honor. He served three tours of duty abroad, first in Iraq, later in Africa and finally in Afghanistan.

“He told his children that he was going to a country to help other children whose parents weren’t in a position to provide the safety and freedoms that we as U.S. citizens enjoy,” Tonya said. “He was honest with his children in regard to his job.”

Lindenau’s awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and many service, achievement and commendation medals. A memorial service was held Tuesday at Faith Chapel at Fort Bragg. Services in Stanwood are Friday and Saturday.

“Our family has been blessed by such an enormous outpouring of support, love and kindness. While Bob’s death has been a tragic event it has also come with the blessing of true community ideally defined,” Tonya Lindenau said. “We thank each and every person who has held us up at this time. It has been a great comfort during a trying time.”

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be flown at half-staff today in memory of Maj. Lindenau. Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday or early Friday morning.


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