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1925 Neil 2021

Neil Lindsay Lincoln

July 19, 1925 — September 26, 2021


Ned Lincoln, born in Detroit Michigan to Mildred Lindsay Lincoln and Neil Sandy Lincoln, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at his Durham, North Carolina home shortly after celebrating his 96th birthday. The happiest days of his youth were spent in Leamington, Ontario on the shores of Lake Erie, where he had many friends and extended family.  Ned had a hearty Yiddish vocabulary learned from Jewish neighbors who often took care of him, but to communicate with a deaf classmate he mastered American Sign Language, which he later taught to his children and continued to use until the last week of his life. He fondly recalled being a mischievous youth in Detroit, sneaking into Vaudeville acts (the lyrics from which he was still singing last month), following the exploits of the infamous Purple Gang, pranking the priests at the local Catholic church by putting bluing in the holy water and Limburger cheese in the hat bands of parishioners, and helping to run alcohol from Canada across the frozen Detroit River during Prohibition.



At 17, Ned enlisted in the US Army Air Corps at the beginning of WWII. Following the war, he was recruited by Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (now Michigan State University) as part of the initial group of GI's to attend college under the GI bill.  He employed his leadership skills to become president of the Delta Chi fraternity and was most proud of his work toward admitting Jewish students and moving the fraternity to Lake Lansing, where they rented a lake house for $100 per year.  During his 35-year career in the fledgling Detroit-based automotive and aircraft manufacturing industries, he was known by many pioneers in the field. 


At an FBI party in 1956, he met the love of his life, an adorable American Airlines stewardess, Claire Hayman. They eloped in 1958, and after a brief assignment in Southern California, returned to Michigan where they raised two daughters, Amy and Beth.  Claire and Ned lived in Northville, Michigan from 1970 to 1986, where they restored their 1850's farm house and homestead, lovingly called "The Place." There, Ned was a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church and spent many happy hours puttering in “Ned’s Shed” and tending the orchard, gardens, and house. They eventually retired to Durham, North Carolina, where Ned was loved and respected by friends and neighbors, recently being referred to as a "force of nature," who continued to mow his own lawn until age 93.  Just this summer, they moved to an independent living apartment. 


Ned was well-known for the wit and “wisdom” he would slyly whisper to his children and grandchildren:


-Don't kiss me unless you love me!


-Walk this way (with silly walking).


-Keep a smile on your face and your big mouth shut.


-Never wear diamonds before noon.


-You look good, Kid.


-Keep a roll of quarters in your pocket in case you get into a fight.


-I wish I could shimmy like my sister, Kate!


-Always get a dog to lick your scrape or cut.


-Walk softly and carry a big stick.


-Tell Lefty and Bozo to keep the motor running.


-I think I’m going to go faint now.


Ned was preceded in death by his parents, Neil and Mildred Lincoln.  He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Claire Lincoln; his daughters: Amy Lincoln Banks (Johnny) and Beth Lincoln Boyea (Tom); 8 grandchildren: Jacob Wiseman (Amanda), Alix Boyea, Marie Boyea Brown (Robbie), Sarah Wiseman Johnson (Daniel), Adrienne Boyea Kline (Greg), Mara Wiseman Oxentenko (Jon-Michael), Cole Boyea, and Samuel Wiseman; two great grandchildren, Charlotte Marie Brown and Caleb James Johnson; and his beloved cat, Bootsie. 


The family is eternally grateful to the wonderful staff at Atria Southpoint Walk and Legacy Healthcare Services; the expertise and care of Duke's Hock Family Pavilion and Home Hospice staff; and the loving guidance, prayer, and tender care provided by our dear sisters at Hands of Compassion Angels, LLC.


Memorial service will be held at 1 pm on November 12 at Triangle Grace Church, Durham, NC.  


In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the following organizations:


-Triangle Grace Church


-Hands of Compassion Angels home health agency:  Venmo Anne Edward@HOCATEAM

As Ned liked to say, "You'll read about it the papers." 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Neil Lindsay Lincoln , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Friday, November 12, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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