University News

Tate Lindahl Obituary

November 2, 2020


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MACOMB, IL – Retired Western Illinois University Administrator Tate Lindahl, 85, passed away Oct. 29 in Macomb.

Lindahl came to Western in 1967 as part of a team charged with design and implementation of computer use for administrative purposes, as well as for research and instruction. Previously, he had taught statistics at Kansas State University, been a systems engineer for IBM, chaired the math department at Black Hawk College (BHC) and established BHC's data processing curriculum. During his 23 years in academic computing at WIU, Lindahl authored three textbooks and co-authored a fourth on computer programming, and was instrumental in the evolution of computer use by faculty and students. He retired in 1990.

Lindahl and his wife, Sharon, have been avid supporters of the performing arts and other initiatives at WIU, and in 2011, the Lindahls arranged for a seven-figure bequest in Tate's estate plans to assist in the maintenance of the Center for Performing Arts on the Macomb campus.

A longtime supporter of the arts at Western, Lindahl began his tradition of generosity by giving artwork to the University in the early 1980s. Five Rembrandt prints, considered the most valuable items in the WIU Art Gallery's permanent collection, were gifts from Lindahl. He has also contributed works by Georges Rouault, Gatja Rothe, and Francisco Goya.

"Tate's planned gift to support the future maintenance needs of the Center for the Performing Arts without requiring his name to be displayed anywhere is the most humble gift I have ever seen given in higher education. I am sad that he will not get to be front and center for the first performance in the Center for the Performing Arts," " said Brad Bainter, executive director of the WIU Foundation. "Tate, and his wry sense of humor, will be missed."

Lindahl also supported artwork conservation initiatives at the WIU Art Gallery, the Honors College and scholarships, and many community initiatives including the Al Sears Jazz Festival.

He is survived by his wife Sharon; her family, two sons and one daughter, and six grandchildren.

Cremation rites have been accorded. There will be no funeral service or visitation. A memorial service may be held at a later date.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations