Los Osos Loses a Legend

On April 7, 2020 Heaven opened up its pearly gates and welcomed home our beloved John Lindemans.

Johannes Martinus Lindemans was born in Rotterdam, Holland, on December 21, 1935 weighing 13 lbs. His version of the story, “I got up off the table shook hands with the doctor and said, ‘Hello, I’m John’.”

Larger than life at birth, John lived his entire life large. He was “John of all trades; master of many.”

John authored a memoir of his early years titled, “Nazi Atrocities as Seen Through the Eyes of a Little Dutch Boy.” Surviving the occupation shaped John’s incredible journey through life.

After serving in the Dutch Army, he immigrated to the US in 1958, where he set out to live the American Dream.

John’s enormous heart, gave him the incredible power to love. He loved his wife, Jean (Clearly) Lindemans. They met when John was a singer in a bar; seven weeks later they were happily married until Jean’s untimely death in 1989. Jean is remembered as “Mama Bear” to hundreds of Los Osos children who attended Baywood Elementary School. They leave behind their children; Jan Lindemans, Julie Tacker, Janine Lindemans, Jeff and Kathy Lindemans and Johanna Sanders.

John found love again with Paula, who has been by his side since their marriage in 1990. Paula has been a loving stepmom to John’s kids and Oma to Marly and Julien Santamarina, who are looking forward to their own baby in November, Teddy and Clayton Tacker, Jack Edwards, Justin West and Marina Lindemans, Travis Tutt and Brittany Tutt, Megan and Dustin Barnhart and she’s enjoying being Great-Oma to Delilah Jean Lindemans.

John’s American Dream played out; a carpenter by trade, evolving into a cement mason. If he couldn’t buy it, he would build it. If it broke, he fixed it. He was a talented craftsman and made many beautiful things. He built furniture, houses, swimming pools and bomb shelters. His hobby was restoring horse drawn buggies and carriages – you would often see the family commute to church on Sundays by horse and buggy.

One of John’s dreams became reality when he expanded Trinity United Methodist Church by cutting it in half using a chainsaw, moving half the building 20 feet to the north and reassembling it. Another dream fulfilled was to work at Camp Arroyo Grande shoring up the circa 1897 tabernacle. Additionally, he also built the concrete walls in the Los Osos Community Park playground depicting children at play.

His biggest dream became his legacy — he and Jean bought property in Los Osos in 1968 and moved to the small town in 1971. They later purchased a small farm and over 10 years built a Dutch windmill. From its architecture, scored concrete floors, tile counters, reused telephone pole beams, and grape carved details, John’s artistry colored every aspect of their custom home.

In 1994 John and Paula moved to the Pacific Northwest where he again set out to conquer the American Dream. As principal of Coachman Construction he built 40 homes over the next 20 years. Together they enjoyed entertaining, boating and their membership at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club.

John enjoyed retirement, still crafting; he made models of WWII airplanes he had watched overhead as a child during the war.

Retirement wasn’t always rosy; his heart was broken when he lost his son in-law, Josh Sanders, in 2012. These men shared much more than their love for Johanna.

John was “The
Coachman” and drove his horse-drawn carriage to many local weddings.

John was a teacher and a storyteller and an accomplished vocalist. He had a song to sing for every occasion. Today he can be found singing bass in the choir of angles alongside Jean, Josh and his parents Cornellia and Karel, his sister Jannie and brothers, Karel Lindemans and Art Van Geloof.

A Celebration of John’s Life is pending and will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in John’s memory to Operation Smile at 3641 Faculty Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23453.