Joseph C. Lindsay III

Feb. 22, 1969 – April 5, 2014

Joseph Carroll Lindsay III, 45, of Rochester, Minn., formerly of Waukesha, died peacefully in his home on April 5, 2014, after fighting a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In those last hours he was surrounded by the love of his wife, children, father, mother and friends. Joe loved life. He loved the great outdoors, poetry, computers, word games, Dr. Who, Monty Python, science fiction and martial arts. He was never afraid of exploring this wonderful world. He was an avid roadtripper and loved nothing more than hopping in the car and taking the back roads. Joe traveled all 50 states and most of the Canadian provinces before he was 30 years old.

Joe was born in Milwaukee on Feb. 22, 1969, to Joseph Lindsay II and Susan (Schultz) Lindsay. The love of travel was instilled in him early on. His first road trip was at 3 weeks old when he and his parents moved from Milwaukee to St. Louis, Mo.

The family made several moves between Missouri and Wisconsin before settling in Waukesha in 1976. Throughout his growing up, he made many road trips out to Cape Cod to visit his paternal grandparents, spending many young days in the ocean and sand. While attending Waukesha South High School, he practiced tae kwon do and received a ranking of a high red, but had to stop when he found out he had a heart condition. He also was a ham radio operator, an interest that he and his dad shared. He worked hard in high school and earned a full scholarship at Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Mo., for his academic achievements.

While in college he studied computer science and made many, many friends who were more than willing to jump into his Buick Regal and head out on the road when the idea of a road trip was suggested. In between studies and road-tripping, he also spent time expanding the Spap Oop Society, which he started in high school, by adding members to promote and write a poetic form that Joe coined “super-surrealistic poetry.” Each member came up with their own official title, of which Joe’s was “Founder, President for Life, and Chauffeur.”

After undergraduate school, Joe went on to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He excelled there and he was recruited by IBM Rochester to begin a software engineering career that spanned almost two decades. At IBM, Joe worked on many different projects, such as database design, security, mainframe and Flex system products. He was known to work on a problem tenaciously and would often have dreams which helped solve code problems at work. Joe was a true geek in every sense of the word. In addition to his work life in Rochester, Joe was active for many years in Rochester Civic Theater, having parts in several productions. He also continued his love of writing poetry and road tripping, completing several trips to the southern East Coast, California, and Hawaii.

Joe met Sue Shulka at a poetry gathering in 1998 and little did he know that he was going to start yet another fabulous adventure. Sue and Joe became great friends, road-tripping together throughout that summer, seeing great Minnesota sites like the Largest Ball of Twine and the headwaters of the Mississippi. Late that summer they would take an amazing trip to Alberta, Canada, to cross off another Canadian province off his bucket list. While they dated, Joe started to practice tai chi and became proficient at the sword form. Shortly after their engagement, Joe found out he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma and underwent surgery and radiation treatment, but also started a dedicated practice of qi (chi) gong, which included a daily two-hour meditation and exercises which he continued for nearly 15 years.

Joe and Sue were married on Sept. 21, 2002, and welcomed Joseph Carroll Lindsay IV (Joey) about a year later on June 18, 2003. As much as Joe loved traveling, he loved being a father even more. When he held Joey his eyes filled with intense love and that intensity only doubled when his daughter, Genevieve (Evie) Lindsay, arrived on July 28, 2006. Joe’s children brought him much love, laughter and light in his life.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sue Lindsay; two children, Joey, 10, and Evie, 7; and his beloved cairn terrier, Niff, all of Rochester; his father, Joseph Lindsay II, and stepmother, Victoria Lindsay of Wausau; and his mother, Susan (Schultz) Lindsay of Big Bend. Joe has many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family and friends that will greatly miss his presence. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Clyde and Violet Schultz, and his paternal grandparents, Joseph and Ethel Lindsay; and his first cairn terrier, Wicket.

A celebration of life for Joe was held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 11, in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home with family and friends officiating. Visitation was from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the services on Friday. Burial was at Oakwood Cemetery following the services. A luncheon followed the committal at Macken Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA) in Joe’s name to help end this horrible disease that robbed Joe from us. We also have set up a trust fund for his children at Think Bank in Rochester.

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