MADISON / PLYMOUTH, Minn.—On the morning of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2018, Harry A. Lindberg passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 95, in his Plymouth, Minn., home. Harry was born on Oct. 9, 1923, in Drayton, N.D., to his parents, Carl and Anna (Bjorsness) Lindberg. After his father died in 1939, the family moved to Grand Forks, N.D.
Harry was attending the University of North Dakota studying Engineering when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force as a navigator during World War II. After flying 21 missions on B-17s out of England, Harry was shot in the mouth by shrapnel losing four teeth and nearly his life when flying over Berlin in early September 1944. He received the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
After the war, Harry returned to UND and received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1948. While in college, he met Phyllis Minchow and they were married on Aug. 11, 1946. Following graduation, he went to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a design engineer in Fort Peck, Mont.
In 1949, he went to work for the Bureau of Public Roads in Minnesota as a highway engineer. In 1960, he moved his family to Arlington, Va., to continue working as a highway engineer for the Bureau of Public Roads which became the Federal Highway Administration in 1966. He spent the last years at the FHWA as the associate administrator for Engineering and Traffic Operations, where he was influential in various highway projects throughout the U.S., notably including the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 in Colorado, which is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on the interstate highway system. He was also involved with many important road building efforts in Central America, South America, and the Middle East.
He retired from the FHWA, and went to work for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in 1978. In 1984, Harry and Phyllis moved to Madison, where he worked as executive director of the Wisconsin Road and Transportation Builders Association for 12 years. Harry and Phyllis spent many hours volunteering in Madison with the Ronald McDonald House, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Madison Children’s Museum, and Bethel Lutheran Church.
After Phyllis died of cancer in 2004, Harry continued to live in Madison until moving to Plymouth, Minn., in 2015. Harry loved to golf, fish and play bridge. He was an avid sports fan and he took his family to many sports events. Above all, he was a man with a friendly disposition towards everyone he encountered.
He is survived by his daughter, Diane (David) Bonvechio of Dover, Ohio; and his son, Harry (Nancy) Lindberg Jr. of Plymouth, Minn; as well as his grandchildren, Jeff (Kathryn) Bonvechio of Washington, D.C., Scott (April) Bonvechio of Dover, Ohio, Kate Bonvechio (fiancé Erik) of Washington D.C., Tommy Lindberg (fiancée Kelly) of St. Louis Park, Minn., and Andy Lindberg of Plymouth, Minn.; as well as three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
An inurnment ceremony is being planned for May 2019, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in St. Paul, Minn. Memorials may be made to donor’s choice.