Longtime Corona del Mar resident James Lindberg, a retired Air Force brigadier general and community leader, has died of congenital heart failure.
“Dad, who turned 100 on May 23, passed away on Nov. 13,” said Elizabeth Lindberg, his daughter who lived with him at their cottage on Dahlia Street. “My father became ill in early November, spent a few days at Hoag Hospital and then was taken to a rehabilitation center, where his heart finally gave out. He never complained, and fought death all the way to the end.”
James Lindberg, a Pasadena native and USC graduate, served in the Air Force as a command pilot, flight instructor and procurement officer in the United States, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War before his promotion to brigadier general and Air Force deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics in 1967. He retired in 1970 after 30 years of active service.
“My father didn’t want a funeral or celebration of life,” said Elizabeth Lindberg, a former director and script supervisor for several television shows. “But he was a member of the Neptune Society, and our family will scatter his ashes in Newport Bay.”
The general’s other survivors include son Jamie, who lives on Balboa Island and is a retired American Airlines captain and former Marine Corps combat pilot in Vietnam, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The general’s wife, Jane, his Pasadena High School sweetheart, died in 1963 at age 44 following a lengthy illness.
After his retirement from the Air Force, James Lindberg, who had moved to Corona del Mar, became foreman of the Orange County grand jury and served on the Orange County Fair Board. He also was vice president of Dart Industries and a member of the Balboa Yacht Club and owned a 30-foot Catalina-class sailboat.
“Dad drank two glasses of vodka before our dinner every night, and he always said the vodka helped him live to a ripe old age,” Elizabeth Lindberg said. “He gave up cigarettes and cigars many years ago and swam in the ocean and jogged on the beach up to three years ago, when his legs began to give out. But with the help of a cane, he walked in the backyard every day to keep his strength up.”
James Lindberg told the Daily Pilot during a February interview that he had lived in his Dahlia Street house for nearly 40 years and that it was built in 1910 by a bean farmer in a field in present-day Irvine. In 1913, the house was cut in half and moved in two sections by horse-drawn wagons to its current site by a Los Angeles doctor who had bought it for a summer vacation home.
Lindberg, who added two bedrooms, a second bathroom, an upstairs office and an observation deck, said: “My house was built in 1910 and I was born in 1918. Wow! The house in even older than I am.”
David C. Henley is a contributor to Times Community News.