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James Paul Lindgren

James Paul “Jim” Lindgren, age 72, passed away at his home in Sylva, NC on Thursday, September 20, 2018. He was the son of the late Alvin James Lindgren and Alma Dorothy Lindgren. Jim was preceded in death by his father Alvin, his brother in law Jean Francois Kresser, and his twin granddaughters, Martina and Brianna Jaggers. 

He is survived by his children Paul Lindgren (Heather), Matthew Lindgren, and Sarah Smiley (Charles) as well as grandchildren Jayden Hoskins, Dean Lindgren, and Sara, Daniel, and Jade Dayton, all of Kansas City, Missouri. Also surviving are his mother Alma, brother John, and sister Dianne, all of Sylva; sister Patricia Kresser of Paris, France, and sister Judy Carlson (Harold) of Seekonk, Massachusetts. He is also survived by six nephews and nieces and their families in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Delaware. 

Jim loved growing up in rural Wisconsin towns, the son of a Methodist minister. As a teenager, Jim attended Chicago Blues music shows, after the family moved to that city. He learned to play the guitar and harmonica, and he instilled that interest in his friends and younger siblings. He graduated in 1964 from Evanston Township High School, and he served his country as a Sergeant in the US Air Force, including a tour of duty in Viet Nam and an honorable discharge. 

Jim was married to Rose Ochoa in 1972. They especially enjoyed their travels through Mexico in their VW camper van. They raised their family together in the Kansas City, Missouri area, where Jim used his BA in Art in his career as an artist and sign fabricator, and Rose has followed her lifelong profession as a nurse. Jim spent his free time listening to and performing guitar music at BB’s Lawnside Barbecue & Blues. 

Jim’s greatest joy in life was his children and grandchildren. His son has said, “I miss my Dad, my Father, my Friend.”  His daughter said, “My Dad was one of a kind. He was a free spirit, very open, accepting, & non-judgmental. He had a love for music & art like no other. Dad enjoyed the beauty & nature of North Carolina, where he was surrounded by other loving family members.” 

His retirement consisted of a quiet life in Sylva, NC where Jim spent time with his mother and his 4 siblings. He joined Shepherd of the Hills Church. He built and collected guitars. He enjoyed many leisurely meals at El Patron Mexican Restaurant. He led the planning for family celebrations. He also returned to KC regularly to visit family and friends.

A memorial celebration is planned for 2:00 pm on Friday, October 5, 2018 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Sylva: 828-586-2084 or shepherdofthehillssylva.org  The Rev. Rosemary Peek will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be offered to the church or to a charity of the donor’s choice. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Lindgren, please visit our flower store.


I was probably 5 years old the first time I asked Dad "can I stand up?" and that was in the backseat of a moving vehicle! lol.. He was driving of course. I wanted to see what HE was seeing. He was in control, and I trusted him. I was too little, too short to see over the backseat. I wanted to SEE..over the backseat..to what was ahead of us. That was back when some kids toys were still made of metal, with metal frames and metal screws and peices fell off and everything was still ok so ... don't judge Dad for letting me stand up. That's the greatest thing he ever did for me, and continued to do for me throughout our relationship. When I a bit older, elementary school, middle school, on into highscool I started finding myself at times troubled by the thoughts and ways of the people around me. I won't get into specifics but your instincts tell you when something isn't right. I was still unsure of myself then so I would talk to my father, my friend..the man I trust the most. "Am I wrong? .. can i stand up?" He said no not wrong, and yes stand up everytime. Dad validated my feelings, my morals, and my heart. He taught me how to stand up, told me it was ok to stand up, and always wants me to keep standing up. I will remember and carry on everything Dad. I love you...thank you for teaching me how to be a human being.

Paul Lindgren Oct 12 2018 12:00 AM

My condolences to all. May the blessing he bestowed in your life shine through your grief at this time. Toni

Toni Knott Oct 4 2018 12:00 AM

I will always remember your laugh....and your love of music

Jeanne VandenBrook Oct 4 2018 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Lindgren

Jeanne VandenBrook Oct 4 2018 12:00 AM

Words will never be enough to truly express just how deep my love is, and always will be for you. You taught me so much about the importance of showing love unconditionally to others, and how powerful the bond that it creates. You are so much more than an extraordinary father, tho. You were a best friend, a great role model, and a hero my entire life. There was nothing I that I ever felt like I couldn't talk to you about. You never once gave up on me even during times where everyone else had including myself. I truly am going to miss hearing, "Just promise to keep on, keepin' on. Okay, son?" I love you, more than life itself, Dad. Bye for now.

Matt Lindgren Oct 3 2018 12:00 AM

Jim and I are best of friends we played music for many years. Are band practices were more about life experience we would talk more than playing going miss you my friend.

Justin Lynch Oct 3 2018 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Lindgren

Justin Lynch Oct 3 2018 12:00 AM

I always had an invincible bond with Jim and his incredibly loving and caring, entire family. Jim was a humble man. To many people who did not know him well, he seemed quiet, remaining private as was his choice. Yet, he had the strength of character, gentleness, and an authenticity, that as yet, remains unsurpassed. He was "one of a kind" as one of his children wrote in a memorial to him. Yes, that is completely true. Jim is a "one-of-a-kind", beautiful Soul. I can imagine him now, playing his guitar and entertaining the Angels with his song. Love is Eternal and so is his Soul.

Gale Glassner Oct 1 2018 12:00 AM

God bless my sweet high school friend... so kind and loving. You will be greatly missed, my friend.

SUZI SCHOR Sep 29 2018 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of James Lindgren

SUZI SCHOR Sep 29 2018 12:00 AM

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