Carl and Jo Lindros | Credit: Courtesy

Carl and Jo Lindros: 1936-2019

It’s not the number of years you have in this life, but the life you put in your years.

One year ago this month, Santa Barbara lost two of its most involved citizens, Carl and Jo Lindros. They died tragically in a plane crash over Idaho after being caught in a freak thunderstorm. With their passing, we lost two quiet philanthropists who supported many community charities and educational institutions and organizations.

I can hear Carl’s voice in my ear, telling me to buck up and keep going. Carl and Jo were not ones to baby themselves, even after respectively turning 83 and 81 years old before they died. They were hardy individuals who promoted self-sufficiency not just for themselves, but for others, as well. Their philanthropical efforts were devoted to that ethos. They were generous with their time and their money to organizations that supported student success and the less fortunate.

Carl was an active boardmember for the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, Westmont Foundation, UCSB Foundation, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara. His leadership and determination started the Get Focused…Stay Focused! National Resource Center. Jo was a tireless volunteer for various community agencies, including Meals on Wheels and food delivery to the homeless shelters.

Much has been said about their good works, so it is fitting to eulogize these two amazing individuals, who left not only Santa Barbara better off but my life, as well, with what I call the “Lindros Life Lessons.”

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Anything Carl and Jo took on, they took on with gusto and dedication. Nothing got in the way of their commitment to others. For instance, Sunday mornings found Jo up early to make runs with her truck to all the Trader Joe’s to pick up their food to deliver to the homeless shelters. My husband, Jim, joined her for a number of years, and she continued her pickups and deliveries right up to the end. If there was an event on a Sunday morning we wanted to plan, no matter how fun, we knew it had to be after food delivery was done.

Happiness Requires Action

They had a spontaneity that was infectious. Come up with a good idea for an adventure or a good cause to help others, and they were always game. You could always count on Carl and Jo to join in. Reflecting on all we did together over our 45-year friendship, it’s hard to imagine what life would have been like without them. Together Carl, Jo, Jim, and I traveled the world, spent weeks each year in San Francisco and looked forward to our regular dinners at Playa Azul. Their mantra was: Let’s make it happen.

Get Your Ducks in Line

I can remember the moment more than 30 years ago when Carl turned to me and said, “Mindy, you better get your ducks in line.” Carl was my mentor as well as one of my dearest friends. He was a beacon of moral support, always prodding me to keep going. Giving sage advice when needed, and at times steering me back on course in the right direction when I went down a detour. His counsel as a strategic planner was priceless, not only for my business but also the organizations privileged to have him sit on their boards. He could always cut through to the essence of any issue and steer us all in the right direction.

There Is Nothing Better Than Grandkids

And while we all love our children, experiencing the joy and pride Jo and Carl took in their grandchildren (and eventually great-grandchildren) was inspiring. Jo was the ultimate grandmother, spending time whenever possible with her brood. So when Charlotte, our granddaughter, was born, they showed up at the hospital to meet her and continued to show up at various birthday parties over the years. Our dinner conversations always included updates on the lives of their family and the pride they took in their accomplishments.

Marry Your Best Friend

Their love story began as teenagers and endured through raising four children. Jo often reminded me she once had four children under the age of five. While they each had varied individual interests and different styles, at the end of their very productive days, they came together and delighted in each other’s company and accomplishments. It was their example that propelled me to marry my best friend Jim 27 years ago. Jim and I were blessed to be included in their inner circle of close friends. While Carl and Jo were taken from us too early, we must take solace in the fact that they were never ravaged by the infirmaries of old age, and after more than 60 years of marriage they are together for their next adventure. They slipped the bonds of this earth together as they have been for nearly their whole lives.


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