© 2024 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
PBS, NPR and local perspective for western Mass.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mary Owens Lindenschmid, 91, Was A Talented Gardener And One-Time Pentagon Employee

More than 900 western Massachusetts residents have now died of the coronavirus. Among them is Mary Owens Lindenschmid, who was 91 when she died of complications from COVID-19. 

Her grandson, Kenneth Mick-Evans, remembers his Grandma with curly silver hair, a short stature, always with a smile on her face.

According to her family, Lindenschmid lived most of her life in Massachusetts — especially in Berkshire County.

“She worked in the Pentagon, went to college in Rhode Island, worked in places out in Boston,” Mick-Evans said.

At the Pentagon, Lindenschmid was a secretary for one summer, he said.

“There was one time, an episode on NCIS, she figured out how this one criminal was reading the typewriter reels,” he said. “When she was at the Pentagon, they would have to dispose of all the typewriter reels so that someone wouldn’t be able to reconstruct what the secretaries, such as her, had been typing.”

On her Lanesborough, Massachusetts property, Lindenschmid grew flowers and vegetables. What was not eaten fresh from the garden was canned.

Another kitchen talent she had was very important to the man who would become her husband, Albert, said her grandson.

"I think a mutual friend had set her up with my grandfather — like, told my grandfather that she makes her own bread, which was a big selling point for him with his German background… having homemade bread," he said.

Mary and Albert got married in 1959, and celebrated more than five decades of marriage together. 

Mary and Albert Lindenschmid in 1959 on the occasion of their wedding.
Credit Courtesy Kenneth Mick-Evans
Courtesy Kenneth Mick-Evans
Mary and Albert Lindenschmid in 1959 on the occasion of their wedding.

I asked Mick-Evans what he would tell his kids someday about his grandmother.

“She was a very active woman, engaged in a lot of different things. Loved family. Loved God. Always tried to have a very positive spirit, persevered through a lot of hardship and physical pain,” he said.

The pain was from osteomyelitis, a bone disease, that Mary got as a child. Later in life, Ken's mom cared for her mother. And so, when Ken's mom, and grandma, both ended up in the hospital... he says it was actually a blessing.

"Because my mother got to be there  - and like holding my grandmother’s hand – when she died.”

They both had COVID-19 and there was no reason to keep them apart.

"So they got to be there together. "

Lindenschmid passed away as an inpatient at Berkshire Medical Center on April 21 of this year. Her husband, Albert, predeceased her in 2014.

Correction: An earlier version of this post included a photo of a person who was misidentified Mary Owens Lindenschmid. It has since been removed.

Carrie Healy hosts the local broadcast of "Morning Edition" at NEPM. She also hosts the station’s weekly government and politics segment “Beacon Hill In 5” for broadcast radio and podcast syndication.
Related Content