Madelyn Sundquist

Madelyn Sundquist

A longtime Indianapolis resident and civic leader, died Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, of acute myeloid leukemia. She was 82.

Mrs. Sundquist was the widow of Lyle E. Sundquist, who died in 2007. The couple met at Purdue University, where they received bachelor's degrees in 1952 and married the same year. They settled in Indianapolis in 1957, where Mr. Sundquist worked as a mechanical engineer and manufacturer's representative, and eventually founded the Sundquist Co., which continues.

Mrs. Sundquist had an abiding interest in civic affairs in her community and beyond. She was active in the League of Women Voters dating to then-Mayor Richard Lugar's campaign for "Unigov" in the late 1960s. In the fall of 2012, with her health failing, she made sure to cast an early absentee ballot and decorated her lawn with campaign signs, despite her concern that four signs might be unsightly, particularly to neighbors with right-leaning views. She was pleased when most of the candidates she supported won their races, which was better than she had expected.

In addition to her work with the League, Mrs. Sundquist was active with the Indianapolis Propylaeum, Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, St. Luke's United Methodist Church and Epworth United Methodist Church. She supported a variety of civic and community organizations, including WFYI, ACLU of Indiana, and Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

Mrs. Sundquist's interest in history and culture led her to travel widely, in part to participate in Elderhostel/Road Scholar programs. Most recently, in summer 2012, before being diagnosed with AML, she visited Scotland and Ireland to study Celtic spirituality. She earned a master's degree in education, focusing on social studies, at IUPUI in 1981 and worked a substitute teacher in Washington Township schools.

Mrs. Sundquist, a vegetarian, also had a strong interest in healthy, sustainable foods, seeking out locally grown and organic products at the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market and elsewhere. She was an avid tennis player and fan. She also cheered the Indianapolis Colts and despaired over Purdue's football team. She was a talented calligrapher. She was healthy and active until the last months of her life, when her body could no longer do what her spirit would will.

Born in Chicago, Mrs. Sundquist was the daughter of the late William and Mary Schroeder. She is survived by her sons Eric Sundquist of Madison, Wisc., and Carl Sundquist of Fort Smith, Ark.; daughter-in-law Dorothy Sundquist of Madison; and granddaughters Haley Sundquist of Fort Smith, and Madelyn Sundquist of Madison.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at St. Luke's, 100 W. 86th St. Friends may call at 11 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the League of Women Voters of Indiana, 5610 Crawfordsville Rd., Suite 1500, Indianapolis, IN 46224; to the Indianapolis Propylaeum 1410 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46202; or to St. Luke's UMC, 100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Jan. 1, 2013