Soldier killed in Afghanistan loved his family, music

STANWOOD — Bob Lindenau loved music.

He played classical guitar, and told his wife that if he should die, a recording of guitarist John Williams performing Bach’s Chaconne in D-minor should be played at his funeral.

On Saturday morning, the plaintive four-bar theme of the chaconne will resonate in the sanctuary of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Stanwood.

Army Maj. Robert D. Lindenau, 39, was killed Oct. 20 by a rocket-propelled grenade that hit his vehicle in Charbagh, Afghanistan. Lindenau was serving there as a member of the 91st Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) from Fort Bragg, N.C.

He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Tonya, who grew up a member of the extended Bloom family on Camano Island and graduated from Stanwood High School in 1989. Also surviving are their children: Rachael, 12; Gabe, 10; Sarah, 8; and Hannah, 6. His parents preceded him in death, and his surviving brother and sister and their families live in Idaho.

Lindenau was a family man filled with faith, Tonya Lindenau said.

“He repeatedly said that the best evidence that he had of God’s love for him was his wife and children,” she said. “Bob was a wonderful, loyal friend who listened well and encouraged others to see the goodness in one another.”

He liked fishing, hunting, hiking and camping with his family, and, of course, playing his guitar when he had any spare time, his wife said.

Lindenau was born Aug. 22, 1969, in Seattle. In the mid-1990s, he attended the University of Idaho, where he graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and classical guitar performance.

Lindenau enlisted in the Army in 1996 as a way to support his family, delve into other interests and serve his country, his wife said.

After working as a mechanic in various positions in a direct support maintenance company, he attended the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School in 1999, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in field artillery. His last assignment was as a civil affairs officer, working with Afghan families and children. A medical clinic there is being named in his honor.

He served three tours of duty abroad, first in Iraq, later in Africa and finally in Afghanistan.

“He told his children that he was going to a country to help other children whose parents weren’t in a position to provide the safety and freedoms that we as U.S. citizens enjoy,” Tonya said. “He was honest with his children in regard to his job.”

Lindenau’s awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and many service, achievement and commendation medals.

A memorial service was held Tuesday at Faith Chapel at Fort Bragg. Services in Stanwood are Friday and Saturday.

“Our family has been blessed by such an enormous outpouring of support, love and kindness. While Bob’s death has been a tragic event it has also come with the blessing of true community ideally defined,” Tonya Lindenau said. “We thank each and every person who has held us up at this time. It has been a great comfort during a trying time.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be flown at half-staff today in memory of Maj. Lindenau. Flags will remain at half-staff until sunset Thursday or early Friday morning.

Last year, Congress amended the U.S. Flag Code to give governors the authority to have flags flown at half-staff when a state resident in the military is killed in the line of duty. Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join in this recognition.

More than 20 people with connections to Snohomish and Island counties have died in combat or training operations since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started.

As of Wednesday, at least 553 members of the U.S. military have died in the Afghanistan campaign, which began in October 2001.

Since the Iraq war began in March 2003, at least 4,189 members of the U.S. military have died there, according to an AP count as of Wednesday. The figure includes eight military civilians killed in action.

Reporter Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read