Lynette Marie Pollari, PhD


El Guique, NM - Lynette M. Pollari, 64, died peacefully at home on January 6, 2022, using New Mexico’s Medical Assistance in Dying to end the terrible suffering caused by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She was born on January 31, 1957, in Duluth, MN, the daughter of Audrey and Calvin Pollari.

Lynette was preceded in death by her father, Calvin Pollari, and brother, David Pollari. Surviving immediate family members include her husband, Stephen Thompson of El Guique, NM; mother, Audrey Pollari of Boise, ID; sister, Linda Pollari of Los Angeles, CA; and brother, Donald Pollari of Boise, ID.

She graduated from Superior Senior High School, Superior, WI, in 1975. Lynette received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota - Minneapolis in 1980 and became a licensed architect. She practiced architecture with Ford, Powell & Carson, San Antonio, TX, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Philadelphia, PA, before joining Cuningham Architects, Minneapolis, MN.

Lynette earned a Master of Architecture degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1995. In 1997 she joined her partner Stephen Thompson in opening Thompson Pollari Studio in Phoenix, AZ. Thompson Pollari Studio produced a series of buildings at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, NM, over 12 years. Their firm also completed a master plan for a Hopi ‘new town,’ master plans for Gila River, Salt River Pima-Maricopa, Yavapai, and Havasupai communities, as well as numerous affordable housing projects across Arizona.

Lynette subsequently earned a unique, multi-disciplinary PhD in Architecture and Indigenous Planning from Arizona State University in 2015 at the age of 58, which she achieved in three short years. In 2018 Lynette applied her experience, knowledge, and doctorate to become the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Architect in Santa Fe, NM, until her recent retirement.  

Her final contribution was to others who are or may suffer from ALS. Lynette volunteered and participated in a stem cell trial ALS research study with Mayo Clinic, completing five visits to Scottsdale, AZ, and three to Rochester, MN, with support from dear friends in both cities and many who supported her financially.

A celebration of Lynette’s life will be held on a date to be determined in spring or summer 2022, with music and a bonfire on her and Stephen’s beautiful property next to the Rio Grande River in El Guique, NM.

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