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Lynn Hinderliter

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MACOMB - Lynn Felice Hinderliter (nee Lynn Felice Goulding), born March 31, 1937, in Innsbruk, Austria, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, at the age of 72, of cancer at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb, Ill.

Many knew her as The Vitamin Lady and owner/operator of Middle Earth.

She was the child of Felice Martell-Morrison and Ossian Goulding.

She was educated at Whispers, a private boarding school in Wadhurst, East Sussex, England. She was of an era of privileged women who had the opportunity to be presented at court, as young ladies of upper-middle-class and aristocratic families were, but who met the prospect with disinterest. A social phenomenon evolved within her post-World War II generation that changed young women's view of Britain, the class system, and their place in it. Rather than follow dying conventions around class structure and marriage, she struck out on her own to blaze a unique path. Upon graduation from Whispers, she was accepted at Oxford University but declined the position to pursue travel and adventure.

Throughout the 1960s, Lynn worked as a translator and tour guide in Spain. In 1979, she established Middle Earth as a business dedicated to health and wellness and became a Certified Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian.

Lynn was a brilliant and dynamic woman. She spoke Swedish, French and Spanish fluently, could navigate the complexities of German well and was well-grounded in Latin. She was athletic. Her passions and affinity for poetry, literature, history, philosophy, gardening and cooking were deep and wide. Her accomplishments with needlework, embroidery, beadwork and sewing were unique, artistic and prolific.

She could recite a dizzying repertoire of poetry and verse from memory, wrote beautifully, loved music and all things beautiful and refined. She had a love and affinity for animals that brought creatures as unlikely as macaws, a blue Arctic fox and an iguana into her fold. It was her appreciation of dogs, though, that most marked her love of four-legged creatures, most noted in recent years through her showing of Irish Wolfhounds in the AKC arena.

Lynn lived in such far-flung places as Yemen, Egypt, Malaysia, Sweden, Spain, Canada, England, Scotland, Jamaica and any number of South and Central American countries, to name a few.

Her American adventure began when, in 1969, she boarded the Queen Mary and, bringing her beloved Mini Cooper S and Yorkshire Terrier, set sail for New York City. Upon arrival, she promptly drove to Ecuador, before the construction of the Pan-Am highway, exploring South and Central America. In 1970, in Tequcigalpa, Honduras, she met and married the love of her life, then Army Captain Clay Hinderliter. Their children were subsequently born in Panama. They later moved to California and then eventually to the area of Clay's origins in west-central Illinois.

Those who knew Lynn may remark upon her grace, beauty, style, strength, fortitude, force and projection of character and personality. Her sense of humor, dry and sarcastic wit, ready willingness to be amused and entertained and belting laugh were her hallmarks. She was, as someone dear to her put so succinctly, "excellent and challenging company." Her beautiful voice, unquenchable curiosity and thirst for learning, excellent taste in all things, her love of fast cars, fastidious driving habits and sincere concern for those around her were remarkable. She carried a strong sense of justice and was deeply sensitive. She was a woman who could spit in the face of danger and embodied a spirit of irreverence, independence and resolution around all that she undertook. She was deeply invested in upholding women's rights and equality. She carried an immeasurable capacity to empathize with suffering in all forms. Her compassion knew no bounds.

Her achievements are too many to list. Her business, garden, the complex and beautiful tapestries she designed and executed, the stupefyingly delicious concoctions she crafted in the moment and could never provide a recipe for because she couldn't recall what she'd put in it, her ability to entertain, to create a beautiful home, and, most important to her, the family she nurtured and tended to in her unique and special way are accomplishments that will not be awarded diplomas that can be framed and placed on a wall. The fantastic ideas, poignant thoughts and impressions that came through her and were expressed so beautifully by her will not go down in history. Nevertheless, her mark was indelible and her undertakings and achievements hold a quality of passion, drive, purity and brilliance that live on as a legacy to all who were touched by her - and there were many.

She is survived by her husband, Colonel Clay Hinderliter; son, Justin Hinderliter; daughter, Valerie Tyler; daughter-in-law, Cynthia Hinderliter; grandchildren, Lucas and Rosalyn Hinderliter, Drew and Brenna Clark and Skye Tyler; brother, George Goulding; and sisters, Carola Geddes da Filacaia and Sarah de Senarclens.

She is to be cremated. A memorial service will be held pending announcement.

Donations may be sent to The Lynn Hinderliter Garden Memorial at 521 N. Albert St., Macomb, IL 61455. Sincerest gratitude and thanks are extended to friends, family and the staff of McDonough District Hospital for their unsurpassing support and kindness to Lynn.

"Remember" by Christina Rossetti

REMEMBER me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann'd:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Sept. 27, 2009
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