Excerpt from Sunny Fischer's Reflections on Lucia Woods Lindley's Passing

She was a true original—her clothing, her bearing, her home reflected a rare eye and imagination, combining colors, countries, and patterns that only an artist could invent.  Though demanding and serious in her work, her curiosity, her wry, witty sense of humor, her warmth, sensitivity, and generosity made her a remarkable person to work with and for.

Read the full letter here.

Read Lucia's obituary published in the Chicago Tribune here.

Condolences can be sent to:
Chuck Wheatley
Woods Family Office
1 N Franklin St, Suite 2360
Chicago, IL 60606-3545


In 2015, Lucia received the Founders Impact Award from CFW for her integral role in the women's funding movement.

View an excerpt of the tribute video from the event:



"Lucia had already moved to New York when I started at CFW in 2011, and she therefore will always hold legend/celebrity status in my mind and my heart. I had the opportunity to chat with her over the phone a few times as I was getting up to speed on our work and it was those conversations that, in large part, helped to ground me in CFW's values and vision. She was a beautiful person in every way imaginable, and will be greatly missed." – Emily Dreke

"During the nine years I worked as ED of The Sophia Fund, Lucia could constantly surprise me. We delighted in the implausibility of our connection—that I, who grew up in Bronx public housing, and she, who hailed from a family of Lake Forest philanthropists, could have so much in common. She loved literature, she loved to dance, she loved travel, she loved New York. She had so many interests. In Charles Schulz’ Peanuts’ cartoons, she found wisdom and solace. Though not traditionally religious, she had a collection of unusual crèches from around the world. Her delight in great art was matched by her appreciation of a perfectly formed fruit or vegetable. Her eye for interior design showed in Sophia’s office. 'We need a quilt,' she said, 'to soften our work.' And we found an 1893 quilt in 'Grandmother’s Flower Garden' pattern that now graces the wall of the CFW offices. 'We need Grandmothers,' she said. She was a quirky, yet impressive teacher, modeling how to give wisely, for women to achieve equity, for the potential of lasting social change, for the health and well-being of society. Her legacy embraces so much: a strong CFW, a growing women’s funding movement, and a body of work that celebrates beauty and meaning." – Sunny Fischer

"Before CFW was founded, I believe in 78 or 79, with the terrific help of Jean Rudd, founding executive director of the Woods Fund, Lucia funded the Midwest Women’s Center—very generously. She followed the lead of The Wieboldt Foundation and The Playboy Foundation in doing so. She was also consistently supportive of us—this group of young women working so hard to make a difference when virtually no institutional (or individual) donors would support an avowedly feminist organization." – Rebecca Sive

"I met Lucia first when she was starting the Sophia Fund. Lucia was a quiet, highly impactful and visionary philanthropic leader. She demonstrated early-on how women could and should use their resources for positive change for other women and girls. Her leadership influenced other philanthropists at a time when this was not a widely-accepted practice. I remember Lucia as a gracious and very kind person." – Celene Peurye-Hissong

"Lucia was a true visionary. Early on, she keenly understood that, for almost every societal challenge, there is a solution that resides in the hands of women and girls. Lucia helped to teach me, teach all of us, about philanthropy and how we can use it as a lever for inspiring other women to give with courage and conviction. When CFW was still a seedling, it was Lucia's unapologetic support of women and girls that allowed for CFW to grow roots and take hold. I have no doubt that we would not be the strong, sustainable organization we are today if not for Lucia and her profound impact on our trajectory. The world lost a true "Shero" when Lucia passed and I will miss her greatly." – Marjorie Craig Benton

"Let me add my voice to that of many saluting Lucia’s wisdom, generosity, and courage. With a small handful of other feminists, she birthed the CFW, which has shown us the way. Cheers to a life well-lived, Lucia!" – Fay Clayton

"Lucia was a gracious, generous and courageous example to all of us. In the 1970s she was among the very first philanthropists to support feminist organizations. She displayed insight and a wonderful spirit in supporting the organizing efforts of these nonprofits. She is remembered as a visionary with compassion and strength who left an enduring legacy through her participation in the movement to improve the lives of women and girls." – Ellen Benjamin

"I never met Lucia, but her work and vision has impacted my life. May her legacy continue through the work that women do all over the world. Gone but never forgotten." – Sherri Allen-Reeves

"I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Lucia during her many years of involvement with Goodman Theatre. She was passionate about the arts and I recall many wonderful conversations about Goodman productions and priorities along with everything happening in the arts around the country. Lucia was indeed unique and had a very powerful voice for women and our cultural life. Dan was a perfect partner and having the chance to be with the two of them for lunch or dinner meant a fantastic experience was forthcoming. I remember being invited to dinner at their home and feeling so honored and in awe of being in this incredible space. It is all etched in my mind. I have missed them very much and they will always be remembered by the Goodman." – Roche Schulfer

"It has been quite a while since I have seen Lucia – she moved to NYC several years ago. However, she was a major force in my life when we (Sunny, Marjorie, Lucia and I) were creating the Chicago Foundation for Women; it would not exist without her. Other people knew her because she was a wonderful and thoughtful artist and scholar. While these characteristics were apparent in her home and her conversations, I knew her mostly for her interest in and support for the struggle for women's rights and safety. Though she was by nature very introverted, she extended herself as a presence at the start of the Foundation and continued as a strong supporter. She exemplified women's leadership in philanthropy at a time when women, even women of means, were not significant donors to any cause. She was a quiet reminder that together, women – no matter our resources or background – can joyfully and energetically bring lasting goodness to women and our community as a whole." – Iris Krieg

"Lucia, you have done more than what expected of you, rest in peace, even me Peter Kayanga from sub-Saharan Africa in Uganda. Kampala City, I come to know you through social media, the rest of you carry on her vision." – Peter Kayanga