Allan Linder, 1925 – 2020

April 2, 2020

My grandfather, Allan Linder, age 94, passed away on Tuesday. Not Covid-19 related, and that’s only one of the things that’s been very surreal about the last few weeks. Telling people, “My grandpa is sick – it’s not covid,” as a kind of verbal footnote. He went into hospice care in early February after a cancer diagnosis. (I haven’t posted about it before now out of respect for my family’s privacy…and I just didn’t want to talk about it.)

His decline has mirrored the unfolding coronavirus pandemic. As he grew more ill, the pandemic grew worse, every day, so I feel like I’ve been dealing with stressful unfolding tragedies in two directions. In both cases, it’s been like watching someone fall off a cliff in slow motion. I can see the ground under their feet crumble, I can see them tip over, I can see exactly what’s going to happen and how this will play out. And there hasn’t been a single thing I can do to stop it.

Like I said, it’s been a surreal few weeks. I was able to visit him in Pueblo on Monday, to say goodbye, and I’m vastly grateful for that opportunity. Times being what they are, that moment might not have been possible, but it was. I’m grateful.

Now let me tell you about my Grandpa. Son of a Swedish immigrant, youngest of four sons, a family of Nebraska farm boys. He turned 18 smack in the middle of World War II and joined the Navy, serving aboard the U.S.S. Matanikau in the South Pacific. After the war, he earned a Ph.D. in biology and taught at Idaho State University for twenty-five years. He spent a few summers as a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant. His research focused on reptiles and fish. He and Grandma celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.

Grandpa taught me to fly fish, and I don’t know when I’m going to be able to watch “A River Runs Through It” again without breaking down. He’s also the one who got me into birdwatching. I still use the binoculars and spotting scope he gave me.

Yesterday, I almost stepped on a beautiful little garter snake in my yard, and it flicked its tongue at me before slithering off, and I laughed and cried because it felt like Grandpa saying hello. I will miss him.


12 Responses to “Allan Linder, 1925 – 2020”

  1. Beth Robinson Says:

    Carrie, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa. What wonderful memories you have and what wonderful things you will notice more now out there that will kindly remind you of him. Sending love to you and your family.

  2. Todd Campbell Says:

    My sincere condolences on the passing of your grandpa, he appears to have lived life to its fullest, and I know you will miss him terribly. May the many good memories lift you up during this difficult time. 😦

    All is well
    by Henry Scott Holland

    Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    I am I, and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
    Call me by my old familiar name,
    speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no difference in your tone,
    wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
    let it be spoken without effect,
    without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was;
    there is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you,
    for an interval,
    somewhere very near,
    just round the corner.
    All is well.

  3. whip1up Says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss.

  4. Brenda Erickson Says:

    So sorry!

  5. Jared Moloshok Says:

    My condolences.

  6. silverfox57 Says:


    I am sorry to hear about your loss, it’s never easy. Take your time an d take care of yourself.

  7. Jane B. Says:

    My sympathies. Losing a parent is always hard, even when they’ve lived a long, full life. He sounds like a wonderful person; what beautiful memories you must have! May they be a comfort.

  8. So very sorry to hear this.


  9. michelle garcia Says:

    Sorry for your loss.


  10. Thomas Stacey Says:


    So sorry for your loss! My condolences to you and your family. I am glad that you got to see him and say goodbye though with all the restrictions on visiting people right now. Take care of yourself.

  11. Charlie Says:


  12. mervih Says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

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