Milton L. Lindholm


 Milton L. Lindholm


BRUNSWICK – Milton L. Lindholm died at age 98, on Saturday, Feb. 27, in Brunswick.

Until January, he had lived an active life with his wife at their home in Lewiston. Milton leaves a powerful legacy at Bates College and in Lewiston, his home for the past 65 years. For eight decades, he was associated with the college, as a student in the Class of 1935, as Bates’ first Dean of Admissions, and in his retirement as a beloved and honored figure at the college, officiating at athletic events, fund-raising for the development office, and serving in a variety of other capacities.

As Dean of Admissions for 32 years, Milton was known for his fairness and empathy, and for playing calculated hunches on young people. Many of those hunches went to great success in their lives after Bates and to lead lives of service. His interest in students went far beyond their admission to the college, keeping touch with them on campus, entertaining them in the Lindholm residence on Nelke Place, befriending and counseling them in their journeys beyond Bates.

He took the Bates Admissions Office from a staff of one (himself), to a modern office with a large staff, mentoring young men and women professionals along the way.

He was a hard worker, never demanding more of others than himself: he enjoyed the company of those with whom he worked and they returned his respect and affection. The admissions office at Bates is named the Lindholm House. The leading student-athletes at Bates are recognized with the Milton L. Lindholm Athlete-Scholar Award.

Perhaps Milton’s best Bates achievement was his marriage to Jane Ault (class of 1937), whom he met there, married in 1938, and to whom he was married for 71 years. Theirs was a magnificent union, not just for its longevity, but because of their obvious delight in one another. Sixty-five of their years together were lived in Lewiston, a community to which they were both devoted. Milton served eight years on the Lewiston School Board in the 1970s, and Jane was actively involved in various community charities and activities. Jane survives Milton and lives now at Thornton Hall in Brunswick.

Milton was born on June 3, 1911, in Collinsville, Conn., where his minister father, Lambert, had a church. He was only a year old when his father died at 43. Milton and his older siblings, Herbert and Constance, moved with their mother, Helen Isaacson, and her brother, Charlie, into a duplex on Cushing Street in Waltham, Mass. Milton attended public schools in Waltham and was drawn to sports, becoming an outstanding football player, ultimately being inducted into the Waltham High Hall of Fame and also the Maine State Football Hall of Fame. He thrived as a student at Bates, becoming a campus leader, captain of the football team, and president of student council. He was a center in football, a crucial position in those days, and played on the Bates team that famously tied superpower Yale, 0-0, in 1933.

He taught at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, for three years, coaching an undefeated team in 1937. He married Jane in 1938, on the grounds of the Ault family home in Wayne. The extended Ault family (Jane had eleven siblings), and “Uncle Lindy” became a favorite relation of the “Waynes.” After selling books for six years for the World Book Co., Milton accepted the position of Director of Admissions for men at his alma mater in 1945. He and Jane and their two small children moved to Lewiston to a home next door to Jane’s sister, Mary Finn, and her five children.

In his retirement, Milton loved to travel with Jane. They made multiple trips to Europe and Scandinavia, with France as a favorite destination. Each summer for 40 years, they rented a cottage at Goose Rocks Beach in Southern Maine, where family and friends happily congregated.

Milton was, of course, more than his association with Bates College. He leaves behind, in addition to his wife; beloved family, his daughter, Martha Lentz of Topsham and his son Karl and his wife, Brett Millier, of Middlebury, Vt. He was grandfather to Sara Lentz Perry and her husband, Roger Perry, of Georgetown, to John Lentz and his partner, Samantha Cook, of Topsham, to Jane Lindholm and her husband, Adrian Hicks, of Charlotte, Vt., to David Lindholm of Los Angeles, Calif., and to Peter and Annie Lindholm of Middlebury, Vt.

He was great-grandfather to Elijah and Isabella Jackson and Spencer Perry, all of Georgetown.

Martha’s husband, Jim Lentz, died in July, 2009.