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Glenview couple killed in accident remembered for their generosity

BurtLindner right Zorine Lindner

Burton Lindner, right, and Zorine Lindner

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Updated: August 8, 2012 6:10AM

Zorine Lindner was a retired junior high school guidance counselor. At 69, Burt Lindner still practiced law.

They were active members of their synagogue and avid travelers, often on trips to do volunteer work.

Neighbors, colleagues and friends remembered them fondly Friday, two days after they were killed when rubble from a freight train derailment and bridge collapse on Shermer Road along the Glenview-Northbrook border crushed their black Lexus.

Their bodies, though, weren’t discovered until the next morning, at the crash site only a block or so from the home in the gated Princeton Village community in Glenview where a neighbor said they had lived for more than two decades.

The Lindners, who are survived by sons Matthew and Robert and four grandchildren, traveled annually to New Orleans to help rebuild the city as part of the congregation’s mission at B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim synagogue in Deerfield.

“They were socially conscious. We had a mission to New Orleans that they participated in,” said Arlene Mayzel, operations director at the synagogue. “They’ve been doing it since the hurricane, and they built some great relationships.”

The Lindner’s were also known for their participation in the Shabbat morning Torah study.

“We certainly are very sad. This is a big loss to the congregation,” Mayzel said. “They were an involved couple. We are brokenhearted.”

Terry Hannah, who said she lived next door to the Lindners, said she was devastated by the loss of the couple she has known for six years.

“If our garage door was left open by mistake, they would knock on our door,” she said, noting the two families shared a driveway between their duplexes. “I’m just devastated. It’s a great loss for their children, their grandchildren and the neighborhood.”

Hannah said she last saw the couple Tuesday when they were at the community’s pool with two of their grandchildren. When her grandson was visiting from Boston in April, Zorine bought two boxes of toys over for him to play with.

“They were the nicest, kindest people,” Hannah said.

Russell Morris, a retired insurance salesman who lives near the Lindners, called them wonderful people. Morris and Burton Lindner have been friends since they moved into Princeton Village about the same time 22 years ago.

“Burton was a wonderful man, a good lawyer and a nice person who never found fault with anyone,” Morris said. “He was a gentle man who was semi-retired and like to spend time with his grandchildren. He would always have them over riding bikes. What a tragedy.”

Chicago attorney Michael LaMonica, whose law firm shares office space with Burton Lindner’s firm, got his start in the legal profession working for “Burt” Lindner, who he said loved Asia.

“He had a lot of friends, and clients, actually, who had come from different parts of Asia,” LaMonica said. “He was fascinated with the cultures and the people.

“It wasn’t hard for Burt to communicate with anyone.”

According to the funeral home handling the couple’s arrangements, Zorine “Zo” Lindner, 70, was a guidance counselor at Holmes Junior High School in Wheeling for more than 25 years. After retiring, she founded “Holmes Helping Hands,” a fund to aid Holmes families in crisis.

The couple traveled extensively, sharing a love of exploration with their sons and grandchildren, he said.

Harold Himelman of Arlington Heights said he often faced Burton Lindner in court during the past decade. Himelman, who practices law with the Chicago-based Bruce F. Dorn & Associates, said he found out Friday about Lindner’s death when a secretary told him.

“He was a very bright attorney who cared about his clients and understood his opponent, namely me,” he said. “We had respect for each other in the court and he was a good man.”

The synagogue will host the couple’s funeral at noon Sunday. Interment will be private.

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