Marilyn Lind, a dedicated volunteer and passionate Hoffman Estates historian, died Saturday at the age of 86. Pat Barch, who's long held the mantle of village historian for the community, credits Lind's memory for often ensuring the precision of the historical record. "History is very accurate. You try not to talk in generalities," Barch said. "(Lind) was a wonderful resource for me. She had a wonderful memory. She was 86 years old, and her mind was just fine."
Among the facts Lind's research demonstrated was that the German immigrant farmers whose presence ultimately dominated the story of the area's settlement really had been following in the wake of a lesser number of relocated American farmers from the East Coast. And while many local historians stayed focused on that more distant past, Lind was just as interested in developments since the village's incorporation 60 years ago, Barch said.
Lind and her husband, the late village Trustee Bruce Lind, saved the historic Sunderlage Farmhouse from demolition and got its smokehouse on the National Register of Historic Places. While the smokehouse was recognized at the time as the only one of its kind in Illinois, it's also one of the smallest buildings on the National Register, Barch said. Many of the structures that win that distinction are large and elaborate. "It was Marilyn and Bruce who did this," Barch said. "It shows their tenacity."
Marilyn remained chair of Hoffman Estates' Historical Sites Commission up to her death, though she'd moved to Streamwood not long after Bruce died in 1991. He suffered a fatal heart attack while attending a flag rotation at the Hoffman Estates Veterans Memorial he'd previously helped establish, his daughter Marjorie Wright said.
Professionally, Marilyn Lind had been a teacher in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 (at HEHS from 1981-82) and also a talented artist. The recent dedication for a new sign in the historic Greve Cemetery last fall to replace one that had become damaged was one of the last events she attended.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod said the village owes a debt of gratitude to both of the Linds, whose love for the community was beyond doubt. "Marilyn was a woman with strong opinions," McLeod said. "She didn't hold back. She wasn't bashful about telling you what she thought." Barch believes Marilyn could be the last person who will be buried in Greve Cemetery when she is laid to rest there beside her husband.
Marilyn Lind is survived by her two daughters, a son, their spouses and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, or the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.