Comrades Gather in Detroit to Honor the Late Ex-FBI Agent and Author Paul Lindsay

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — In a beer-and-burger joint on Michigan Avenue in Detroit, down the street from where the old Tiger Stadium once stood, former and current FBI agents and employees gathered Thursday evening to remember ex-Detroit FBI agent Paul Lindsay who died last week in Boston at age 68 from pneumonia.

He had been battling leukemia.

Most drank Bud Light in plastic cups at Nemo’s — a place Lindsay had his retirement party at years ago. They caught up with one another and talked about Lindsday, who became quite the prolific author, knocking out seven novels. Some of those in attendance were much grayer and considerably older than when Lindsay retired, but no less fonder of him.

Ironically, the last word some had heard about Lindsay was that he had recently sold the movie rights to his latest novel. Things seemed  to be moving ahead.  Life looked good from the outside. Lindsay hadn’t told friends he was battling leukemia.  Then came the ultimate bad news that he had died.

A few spoke Thursday to the crowd, telling humorous stories of Lindsay, a no-nonsense guy with a sense of humor who was considered a first-rate investigator. Lindsay had mentored some.

Lindsay fully understood the bittersweet dish he had been served in life, writing in his memoirs that his family shared with friends via email:

“I am dying. A single cell, damaged and then mutated, is now multiplying at a Pandorian rate through my bloodstream. The aberration was triggered, from best guesses, by Agent Orange, the defoliant dumped so generously-18,000,000 gallons or so–on Vietanam to help keep American troops alive. An irony that is life itself.

“For me, it was over forty years ago. The medical term is Chronic Lyphocytic Leukemia, or to those of us on more intimate footing, CLL. The disease has reached stage four, and unfortunately there is neither a cure nor a stage five.

“. . . I have been the recipient of a great deal of luck in my life. But as John Steinbeck wrote in The Pearl, ‘Luck, you see, brings bitter friends’.”

“Recent events have made it apparent that good fortune is nothing more than a temporary statistical anomaly, which given enough time has little choice but to swing in an opposite and equal arc. In my case, leukemia. Given the extraordinary adventure my good luck has provided to my years, I can offer no complaint about the pendulum’s final resting place.”

Funeral services are set to be held at the Robert K. Gray, Jr. Funeral Home 24 Winnacunnet Road, Hampton, N.H. Saturday morning at 10 a.m.


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