Kirk Lindsey, a state Transportation Commissioner and owner of a Riverbank trucking company, died Wednesday following a long fight with cancer.
Lindsey, 62, was a leader in a mix of Modesto business groups with a reputation for getting down “to the nuts and bolts of an issue."
"Whatever Kirk said he would do, he would get done," said Paul Van Konynenburg, a friend of Lindsey's who worked with him on last year’s unsuccessful campaign to pass a local transportation tax.
Lindsey has been involved with the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance, Stanislaus Partners in Education, the California Workforce Investment Board and the California Trucking Association.
He made time to coach Beyer High School swimming and water polo teams for the past 20 years, a commitment that friends said he valued even more than his work in business and government.
"He was passionate about helping kids and he was passionate about helping the community," Van Konynenburg said. "There are just so many people that he helped along the way."
Lindsey was known as a strong advocate for the Central Valley in workforce development and transportation.
"He believed in this area and he wanted to make it a better place," said Kathy Halsey, who worked with Lindsey on the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. "He wanted to leave it better than he found it, I truly believe it."Lindsey has been on the state Transportation Commission since 2000. The commission was in the midst of a two-day meeting when it learned of his death Thursday morning.
"It was a pretty quiet, somber meeting," said Transportation Commissioner Jim Earp. "We were all thinking of this guy whose heart was as big as he was. We're really going to miss him."
Bee staff writer Adam Ashton can be reached at 578-2366.