Barrington resident served as Lilly Endowment official


Ralph Lundgren’s career path proved to be an enriching experience.

The Barrington of Carmel resident retired as vice president for education for the Lilly Endowment in 1999. Lundgren, now 86, served 26 years at Lilly Endowment.


“My main responsibility dealt with education, and within that context, principally higher education,” Lundgren said. “This applied to institutions that would apply for financial grants, both public and private. It was a very rewarding and enriching experience, working with a lot of very bright people and covering a wide range of interesting and topical areas.”

Besides serving on national advisory boards, Lundgren participated on many boards, including Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel Clay Education Board, Volunteers of America and Service Corps of Retired Executives. He also served on his alma mater Elmhurst (Ill.) University board for several years.

Lundgren and his wife, Nancy, moved to The Barrington’s independent living section seven years ago. They previously lived approximately 2 miles away in Carmel.

“The activities are most ample,” Lundgren said. “We both participate if they have speakers come in. They are some things we do individually. You have to participate in something just to be a part of the group. It’s very well organized. There are social actives like card games, like bridge that go on all the time. It has been an exceptionally good fit.”

Lundgren said even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic because they could see people.

“If we were in our private home during the pandemic (shutdown), we would not have had that same opportunity,” he said. “We were blessed in that sense.”

The couple has three children, Craig, Jennifer and Eric, all Carmel High School graduates. Craig is a physician in Kansas City. Jennifer and her husband own a computer company in suburban Chicago, and Eric and partners own four restaurants in Dayton, Ohio.

The couple also has nine grandchildren.