Saturday, February 24, 2024

EDITORIAL: Tribute to an outspoken citizen

| January 26, 2024 1:00 AM

The reader’s always right.

And, yes: The readers always write.

At least, Lillian Moore Lind of Coeur d’Alene sure did. And when Lily shared with thousands of Press readers what was on her mind, she didn’t hold a whole lot back. Thank goodness.

But then she stopped writing. Her final letter, as always in neat, easy-to-read cursive, arrived at The Press in late March 2022. Like most of her commentaries, this one was political, reflecting a fairly conservative nature and practical advice:

Governor Brad Little said recently, “In Idaho, we run state government like a responsible family runs its household budget. In the good years, you plan for the bad years. You live within your means and save for a rainy day and pay down debt as quickly as you can.”

If only that common sense was held by a president and Congress. Come November, we can vote.


Coeur d’Alene

And then, nothing.

Finally, last week, Lily's obituary appeared in The Press. Her departure from the world ultimately answered questions that readers of her letters — including the Opinions Page editor — may have mulled over the years. 

One was that she was a member of the senior set; Lily was firing off commentaries well into her 90s. She died just a couple months short of her 100th birthday.

According to her obit, Lily's passion for writing began at age 7. After earning her associate’s degree at North Idaho College, she became a journalist, which goes a long way in explaining her concise, pull-no-punches writing style. 

Those in positions of power, from Coeur d’Alene City Council to the White House, weren’t safe from Lily’s wrath. Whether you agreed with her or not was immaterial; what mattered was that she pointedly encouraged discussion, consideration and, ultimately, action. In other words, Lillian Moore Lind in this way modeled American citizenship.

Ignoring the carrot and swinging a sharp stick might have been her preferred method of communication, but tender expressions weren’t completely foreign. Shortly after Duane B. Hagadone died in spring 2021, Lily wrote this:

My condolences to Brad Hagadone on the passing of his father. When our family lived in the Fort Grounds I was a den mother to 20 rambunctious boys. Brad was one of them and was always polite and cooperative.

So sorry, Brad.


Coeur d’Alene

In turn, our condolences go to Lily's family. Life without her must be less fulfilling — and a lot more boring.

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Become a more active citizen by submitting your letter to the editor:

Tell 'em Lily sent you.