OBITUARY: Gregg Kindle, 48, Res Life director, ‘loved’ NU

Seth Freedland and Seth Freedland

Gregg Kindle, assistant dean of students and director of residential life, died Dec. 7 after a months-long battle with cancer. He was 48.

Kindle, a resident of Glenview, Ill., was a member of the Student Affairs residential life staff at Northwestern for 22 years. He managed residence hall programs, supervised residence hall assistants and coordinators, and advised fraternities and sororities.

Assistant Director of Residential Life Jamie Jimenez said she remembers Kindle as an “easygoing and fun” supervisor.

“The entire staff would be in a meeting, talking about something serious, and he would say something right along that was funny, with that dry sense of humor of his,” Jimenez said. “It would make us laugh every time. That was a real gift he had.”

Kindle died from a rare type of lymphoma with his family at his side at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

His wife, Joan, said Kindle “completely loved” NU.

“The school was a second family for him,” she said. “He loved going on retreats with the (Residence Hall Coordinators). He loved (Dance Marathon) and taking part in (Take Back the Night). It wasn’t just that he went to work. He made the effort to weave our lives together.”

Born in Berwyn, Ill., Kindle grew up on the southwest side of Chicago. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in higher education from Bowling Green State University.

“Gregg Kindle has been one of the pillars in our campus community,” William Banis, vice president for student affairs, said in a statement. “He has been a key contributor in shaping and improving the quality of student life for several generations of Northwestern students.

“He touched our lives professionally and personally, and we shall miss him greatly,” Banis said.

“It’s going to take a lot of getting used to for all of us without him in this office,” Jimenez said.

Mary Goldenberg, who served as interim director of residential life while Kindle battled his illness, will continue to serve as head of the department.

Goldenberg said Kindle did some of his best work out of the public eye, supplying inspiration to anyone who needed it.

“He oftentimes was a behind-the-scenes strength, supporting and encouraging people,” she said. “Even though his work was important to him, people were always his top priority.”

Kindle’s brother, Glen, recalled one family Christmas celebration his brother decided he had to miss — because a student was in a crisis.

Former Residence Hall Association president Grant Pauly worked with Kindle closely during his term three years ago. The Weinberg senior called Kindle “probably the easiest administrator to work with” as a student.

“He just understood where (students) were coming from,” Pauly said. “He was very good at finding the balance between what students wanted and what was best for the entire school.”

A campus memorial service for Kindle will take place at 3 p.m. Friday at the Alice Millar Chapel.

In addition to his wife and brother, Kindle is survived by another brother, Gary; his sister, Denise; and his two sons, Evan and Jordan.

The Kindle family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to NU’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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