Donald Eugene Lindquist (12)

Commander Donald E. Lindquist (January 28, 1933 - June 13, 2016) passed away the afternoon of Monday, June 13, 2016, at a Fairfax County hospital. Holding his hands were his beloved wife Jean and adoring daughter Donna Jean. His friend and son-in-law, Robert Spalding, was also at his bedside. Don was surrounded by love and caring every minute as he moved from this life into the next.


Born in the glorious Black Hills of South Dakota, he was more than an avid sportsman: he was a champion. At Lead High School, Don was quarterback of the football team, shortstop on the baseball field, and star on the basketball court. His passion for golfing was legendary, and he had three holes-in-one in a single year.


Don was awarded a scholarship his freshman year to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology before receiving his appointment to the United States Naval Academy. Thus began a lifelong love with the U.S.N.A. for the entire family. He graduated in the top percentage of his class in 1956 and later returned to the Academy to teach mathematics. Don also received a Masters degree in computer science from Stanford University.


Commander Lindquist was a Naval aircraft carrier aviator and Top Gun flyer, piloting F-8 Crusaders on the USS Ticonderoga and USS Oriskany, and serving as the Weapons Commander on the USS Kitty Hawk. Moving between the coasts as duty called, he concluded his career at the U.S. Department of State and remained a resident of Chantilly, Virginia, the rest of his life. Don cheered on the Chantilly High School Chargers basketball and football teams in person for as long as he could, and followed the teams' scores with a keen interest.


Don met the love of his life, Jean DeLois Thompson, when the two lived in the same apartment complex on Coronado Island, California. Jean, a teacher, devised an excuse to meet Don, stating that she "needed to know the symbolism behind the colors of our Nation's flag" to educate her pupils. The two were married in a small ceremony at St. Paul's Methodist Church not long after. They enjoyed travel adventures and a life of love and companionship for 57 years.


When Don and Jean adopted their baby girl in 1966, they bought a new car to bring her home. That very same night, Don played an impressive game as a member of his squad's softball team.


Commander Donald Lindquist will be remembered for many things -- his heroism during the Vietnam War, his enviable lawn and vegetable garden, his striking blond hair and blue eyes, his love of musicals, being quick with a tease or a laugh, a computer-precise mind for math and figures, and an enduring connection to the Black Hills and Stonefelt family traditions. But, at the top of that long list, he is the irreplaceable husband and father to Jean and Donna Jean. While happy Don is free of all earthly struggles, they will remain ever-heartbroken at his passing.


Donald Lindquist is survived by his wife, Jean; daughter Donna Jean; son-in-law Robert Spalding; sister Louise Lindquist Coe and brother-in-law David; sister- and brother-in-law Sue and Tommy Hall; and nieces, nephews, and relatives from coast-to-coast. He is preceded in death by his parents, Edwin Donald and Myrtle Dagney Louise Lindquist, and many from his close-knit South Dakota community from back-in-the-day who affectionately called him "Sonny."


Loved ones will celebrate Donald Lindquist's life with his cherished church community at King of Kings Lutheran Church, 4025 Kings Way, Fairfax, Virginia 22033, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. All are welcome. At a later date, he will be interred at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to King of Kings Lutheran Church.