Thea Lindauer, decades-long benefactor to U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Jewish Midshipmen, passed away in her sleep this past week, just days after celebrating her 100th birthday with family and friends at her Ginger Cove, Annapolis community. The inspirational Thea was “Above Fleet Average” in every way.

Born in Germany, Thea escaped the Holocaust in the 1930’s and immigrated to America, where she met her husband Harry, now a blessed memory. He also escaped the Holocaust and immigrated here in the late 1930’s. COL Harry Lindauer, USA (Ret) fought in Europe in WWII and served until Vietnam. Following Harry’s active duty service, the Lindauers settled in Annapolis.  

Between 1976-87, until a Rabbi was first assigned to the Naval Academy, the Lindauers were the Lay Leaders for Shabbat Services on Friday evenings in USNA’s Bancroft and then Mitscher Halls. Thea would knit Navy Blue & Gold yarmulkes for all incoming Plebe (Freshmen) Jewish Midshipmen. I still have mine from 1979 and was proud to hold it for this picture with Thea at her 100th birthday.  

Mother of three, Grandmother of eight, Great Grandmother of 12. She wrote a book about her story, “There Must Be An Ocean Between Us.” Her interviews are on the Holocaust Museum website. Thea made a difference, everywhere she went and in every organization she joined. She and Harry used their German language ability to help Holocaust victims track information about their families for the Red Cross, translate books and speak to German High School students about the Holocaust. Thea and Harry were sponsors to dozens of Midshipmen, founding members of Arnold, MD’s Temple Beth Shalom, founding members of the USNA’s Friends of the Jewish Chapel (FOJC), longtime supporters of the Maryland Federation of the Arts and The Annapolis Opera Company.

“Above Fleet Average” … she absolutely was. Thea was the gold standard of “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity™” (T3). May her memory always be a blessing.

– Rear Admiral Paul Becker, USN (Ret) is a motivational and keynote speaker.  He is the President of the Non Profit [Naval Academy” Friends of the Jewish Chapel, a leadership professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and the CEO of The Becker T3 Group. In 2016, The Naval Intelligence Community established “The Rear Admiral Becker ‘Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity’ Award for Leadership” in his honor.  To connect with Paul, visit his website: https://TheBeckerT3Group.com

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