FORT MYERS, Fla. - Audrey M. Lindgren died in Fort Myers, Fla., Monday November 26, 2012 at the age of 90 after a short battle with cancer. Audrey spent her final weeks at a skilled nursing facility in Fort Myers, where her sister, Thurley Henderson, lives.
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Audrey was born March 11, 1922 to Fabian and Linda Lindgren of Orange, Mass., and grew up there surrounded by an extended Swedish American family from which Audrey her sisters took a lasting cultural identity. Her older sister, Winnifred Libby, died several years ago.
After graduating from Orange High School in 1940 Audrey began a three year nursing program at Capital School of Nursing in Washington, DC, and graduated in 1944. She joined the Army Nursing Corp in 1945 and served 18 months in the US, the Philippines, and Japan. Following discharge Audrey earned both BS and MS degrees in Public Health Nursing, a field in which she made her mark.
In 1954 she joined a team of US advisors which spent 27 months in East Pakistan, now Bangledesh, assisting the government in setting up public health services. Back from East Asia Audrey worked in public health in Massachusetts before going to Ethiopia with a team from the United States Agency for International Development. She served there until 1968 training health officers in outlying rural areas.
While in Bangladesh Audrey began collecting paintings by local artists some of whom have become nationally renowned. The art she brought home has recently been featured in important East Asian auctions held by Christies.
Back from Ethiopia Audrey joined the Nursing Education Branch of the Division of Nursing, United States Public Health Service. Prior to retiring in 1983 Audrey served several years as the Chief of Special Projects Program, a senior manager position with oversight of federal financial grants to college and university nursing programs. In this position she held the rank of Navy Captain.
Retirement for Audrey meant returning to her beloved vintage home on the village common in Hebron, where she could spend summers tending her vegetable garden, enjoy the church fair in July, play golf with friends, and generally enjoy the life of a small New Hampshire town.
In 2004 Audrey took a place in the Heritage Heights community in Concord where she resided until her illness forced a move.
Her many friends will miss the wry humor, unique perspective, and abiding loyalty of a woman always described as independent.
Audrey is survived by her sister, Thurley Henderson, of Fort Myers, Fla.; three nephews, Jon Henderson of Brookings, Ore., Michael Henderson of Cummaquid, Mass., and David Libby, of Sutton, Mass.; and two nieces, Linnea Henderson of Roanoke, Texas, and Audrey Libby of Bedford, Texas.
A private family service for Audrey will be held in Orange, Mass. at a later date.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Dec. 4, 2012