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Dr. Thomas Starr Lindersmith

October 3, 1935 - May 23, 2013 -


Dr. Thomas Starr Lindersmith was born in Los Angeles, California, on October 3, 1935, to Harry and Alice Lindersmith. He grew up with his sister, Sharon, in Pasadena, California. Tom graduated from Pasadena High School where he was president of his senior class, after which he attended Stanford University and also served in the US Navy on the USS Ashtabula. He earned both an AB in History, and an MA in Secondary Education, at Stanford University. During that time, he married Martha (Marty) Bucklen, also of Pasadena, in 1960.

After he finished at Stanford, they moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where he taught world history and was president of the Fairbanks Education Association. He moved to Portland when he was awarded an NDEA Fellowship to complete an MA in counseling through the University of Oregon. He used his counseling degree to work as a counselor at South Lake Tahoe High School in California.

Tom’s next step was to move to Eugene, Oregon, to start work on a PhD at the University of Oregon. During this time, he was hired by the Peace Corps as an education consultant and trainer in Liberia, Africa.

When he finished his coursework, he moved to Corvallis, Oregon and worked as an associate principal at Corvallis and Crescent Valley High Schools. His career progressed when he took a job as principal at Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon, after which he took a job at Lakeridge High School. While working at Lakeridge, Tom was named Oregon High School Principal of the Year. Tom very much enjoyed working with students.

Tom later married Sheila Willadsen and retired from the Lake Oswego School District. At this time he took a job as Director General at the American School in Pachuca, Mexico. Tom and Shelia eventually settled in Green Valley, Arizona, where they could enjoy their retirement, travelling, and the Arizona sun.

Although Tom considered work his hobby, he enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family. He had a good sense of humor and relished opportunities to engage in banter with friends, colleagues, and the staff at Silver Springs Retirement Home. Like his own father, Tom placed a high value on education, evidenced by his career working with young people. He took many students on school exchange trips to Wolverhampton, England for them to attend school, stay with local families, and learn about British culture.

Tom was predeceased by his wife Sheila. Tom is survived by daughter Lara Lindersmith of Ravensdale, Washington; daughter Marsi Gorman of Seattle, Washington; stepdaughter Bevann Schultz of Parker, Colorado; stepdaughter Shae Brogren of Wilsonville, Oregon; seven grandchildren; and his sister Sharon Lindersmith of Beaverton, Oregon.

Tom passed away at age 77 while living at Silver Springs Retirement Home in Green Valley, Arizona. In his memory, please support your local schools in their effort to educate children.