Obituary: Sven Olof Lingstrom

Founder of Gourmet Gourmet, Freemason, Rotarian

Former Claremont and current Upland resident Sven Olof Lingstrom died June 16, with his family by his side, of complications related to Lewy Body Dementia. He was 80.

He was born in Sweden on February 1, 1940, to Sven and Ruth Lingstrom. The family moved from Sweden to Turlock, California in 1955 when Sven Jr. was 15. He met and married Britt Anderberg in 1961, and settled in Claremont in 1963. They had a daughter, Anette, in 1964.

The Lingstroms owned and managed the Bit O’ Sweden restaurant in Pomona. Years later, they owned and operated the Jewish delicatessen, the Downtown Deli and Restaurant, in Los Angeles. Ms. Lingstrom died in 1980.

By 1983, Mr. Lingstrom had met his future wife, Gertie Bjorkman, at a Swedish Hollywood Club event. They were married in the spring of 1988, and created their blended family. Gertie had children from a previous marriage: Anders, Christer and Annika.

Together, Sven and Gertie built and grew a catering company, Gourmet Gourmet Catering in Upland, and also managed the Claremont Colleges’ Faculty House, a dining hall and special event venue located in Claremont.

Mr. Lingstrom was very involved and active with the Rotary Club in Claremont. He received the Paul Harris Fellow Recognition, an award that acknowledges his contribution to the Rotary Foundation. He also belonged to the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. In 1998, he served as the Claremont Chamber president.

He was a member of the Vasa Order of America, Golden Valley Lodge, and the fraternal Freemason organization, Pomona Lodge 246.

After retiring, the couple spent many summers at their cottage in Sweden boating, fishing, and entertaining family and friends.

“Sven will be remembered as a loving and generous man with a big heart and honorable character,” his family shared. “He was warm and had an ease about him that allowed him to connect with people and build lifelong friendships. Sven was always interested in having fun and knew how to have a great time. If there was music, he’d be one of the first on the dance floor; he knew how to cut a rug.”

Mr. Lingstrom was preceded in death by his first wife, Britt; his sister Barbro; and his parents, Sven and Ruth Lingstrom.

He is survived by his wife, Gertie; sisters Kerstin, Ulla, and Ingrid; his children, Anette, Anders, Christer and Annika; as well as grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

A small private family memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, an organization that is helping to fight LBD.


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