1934 – 2018
Editor’s Note: For decades Anne “Sue” Goetz Doody, served Columbus in more ways than one. Once an elementary school teacher, and always a community advocate, she turned a catering business into one of the most vaunted culinary establishments in Columbus history. According to her obituary, Lindey’s has seen more than 4 million guests come through their Beck Street entrance, employing more than 15,000 people since opening in 1981. Given Lindey’s influence on German Village and her countless non-profit efforts, in honor of her passing, we present to you her legacy, in the words of another tireless community advocate and food industry legend.
As I reflect on my memories of Sue Doody, I think first and foremost of her generosity and compassion. She was genuine, caring and loyal as she balanced her life in such a way with work and family that it appeared seamless. Her grace and authenticity created a contagious spirit of feeling welcomed whenever anyone was in her presence. Not only was she highly regarded as a very strong and smart businesswoman in our community, but she also ran her business with heart. I think one of the ways we can honor Sue’s legacy is to purchase and read her book As the Tables Turn. I also believe we can honor her memory in business and in our personal lives by following the example she set every day by living out the Golden Rule—treating others the way you wish to be treated.
Sue always treated her customers like family at Lindey’s. It resonates with me in so many ways as I think back to how our family business got its start on the South Side of Columbus. Sue’s restaurant quickly became people’s second home in much the same way that I experienced life with our first Donatos. When we lived behind our first restaurant, my mom always invited people into our house while they waited for their pizza.
Sue’s hospitality always reminded me of my mom’s; she would open up the front door and invite her guests in and after a short time they became family. She created a space where everyone felt like they belonged. Lindey’s has been touted as Columbus’s version of “Cheers” over the years, and it truly is a place where you always know someone and someone always knows your name. What an amazing legacy.
While Sue was physically present at the restaurant, it was her presence that made you feel special. She never forgot a face, always remembered names, and recognized any and all business accomplishments and family celebrations. My favorite memory was the day my dad and I bought Donatos back from McDonald’s in 2003. The first place we chose to celebrate was to go to Lindey’s for lunch. Like any other day, the place was packed with so many community leaders and it soon became an unplanned celebration. The word had not gotten to the media yet, but once we arrived at Lindey’s we were surrounded by friends and family in the neighborhood. That is a tribute to the atmosphere and culture Sue built and embodied.
Lindey’s has always been a special place for our family. Like so many others in our community, we go there to celebrate the special occasions in our lives. But it isn’t always about celebrating family events. It is a great place to stop by with friends, meet a new friend or be seen by the ‘who’s who’ in Columbus, all because of the atmosphere and spirit that Sue created with her gracious hospitality.
Sue also taught the art of giving back. My first interaction with her on a professional and mentor level was through a non-profit, Action for Children. She was an elementary school teacher before embarking on her journey in the restaurant business, and she was very passionate about Early Childhood Education and Action for Children. Her passion for volunteer work left a lasting mark on me. She was active in the community in various other organizations as she generously gave back of her time, talent and treasure.
While we are all deeply saddened by Sue’s passing, she has left an indelible mark on the Columbus community through her professional and personal endeavors. Not only does her legacy live on through Lindey’s and the community service work that she did, but also through her four children and seven grandchildren. And the countless guests and employees, who once they met Sue, became family as well. That is the very best kind of legacy to leave
Jane Grote Abell knows a thing or two about family business, as well. You can read more about her family’s legacy and “doing business the Donatos way” in her book The Missing Piece. For more, visit janegroteabell.com.
Story by Jane Grote Abell, Chairwoman of the board, of Donatos Pizza.