On August 3, 2014, my grandfather, Albert Lindenschmid, passed away at age 95. This biography is written in honor of him.
Born on February 14, 1919, in Ennahofen, Baden-Würtemburg, Germany, Albert grew up with two brothers and a sister, Greta. He developed an interest in flying, and eventually joined a private flying club. After WWII broke out, Albert and his brothers were drafted into the military. Albert served in the Luftwaffe, the German air force, and during this time took a correspondence course in mechanics and learned to fly sailplanes. Both his brothers eventually died in battle, and thus, per German military policy, he was allowed to avoid the front lines. Instead, he worked as a mechanic, overseeing the maintenance of several planes. He attained the rank of corporal, but turned down a promotion to sergeant since most sergeants ended up on the front lines. He eventually was captured by American forces and held in a French prison camp until after the war.
After his release from prison camp, Albert returned home for a few years. A breach occurred between himself and his family, and he left Germany for Canada 1951. At that time, the United States denied entry to most Germans, so he immigrated to Canada instead. He worked in a machine shop in Toronto for five years, took motor flying lessons, and became a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian, he could immigrate to the United States, and he did so, working in various machine shops. In 1956, Albert moved to the states.
In 1959, he married my grandmother, Mary Owens, whom he met while working at Fasteners in British Columbia and Boston. They relocated to Berkshire County, where he worked at Clark Aiken and E. D. Jones. While at E. D. Jones, he started his own machining mill on his property in Lanesborough, and eventually left E. D. Jones to focus on his own shop full time. My grandmother managed the financial side, while he oversaw the machining work. He ran the shop for several decades, and even handled some government contracts. Eventually, due to changes in the machining industry and Albert’s aging health, he abandoned his business and focused on collecting and tinkering with machine parts instead. Albert and Mary had one child, my mother Beth.
I remember only when Albert tinkered in his shop, as his business closed before I was old enough to remember. But I grew up with him showing me the machines in his shop. I remember one time when he ran an electrical saw, and I was frightened by the loud noise and sparks flying up from the blade. I also grew up hearing stories from his long life, including the adventures and horrors he encountered in World War II and his dissatisfaction with the time he spent in Canada. While I grew up in Pennsylvania, and he and my grandmother lived in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, my family and I moved in with them in 2003, as my mother was the only family member on their side who could care for them in their declining health. I guess not many people have the experience of living with their grandparents for over ten years, and I got to know both quite well. Caring for both of them in their late years has been an amazing experience.
Albert started to seriously decline about a year or so ago, and we started getting assistance from the state. He eventually lost mobility and needed full-time care. Fortunately, Massachusetts currently allows someone in need of care to choose their live-in caregiver, and my grandmother chose my mom to take care of her and him. My father eventually helped as well. About six months ago, Albert’s health began to fail dramatically, and he went on a hospice program designed to assist in comforting and caring for him in his last days. A few weeks before he died, my grandfather became largely unresponsive. He passed very early in the morning on Sunday, August 3.
I will greatly miss his advice, sense of humor, and amazing stories. Because he went into a slow decline, my family and I could adjust and prepare for when he finally did go. It still is sad, and my grandmother, who was married for over fifty years, is of course grief stricken. For me it is a time of change, moving forward, and looking for what the Lord has in store. I know that death is the strongest and greatest evil in this fallen world, but that there will come a day when the world is restored, death will be overcome completely, and I will live forever with God and his people. Until then, it is pressing on and sharing the Gospel until the coming of God’s kingdom or my death, whichever comes first.