[This is what my aunt Debbie, mom’s sister, will be reading at the funeral today. -Shabbir]
Linda L. Anderson (nee’ McNeil) passed away at her home on Dec 1, 2007. She was surrounded by her family for her final days, as was her wish.
Born in Sullivan, Indiana to a military sergeant and his wife, Linda helped people from the time she could walk. Whether it was giving piano lessons, life-guarding or teaching swimming, she believed that education could help anyone gain a hand up. As a child she frequently would go sit with older adults who were alone at church and would go to their houses to help them. She became a nurse in 1966 after graduating from Tuscola High School in Tuscola, Illinois.
Her attendance at Barnes Hospital School of Nursing almost didn’t happen due to her extreme flat feet and their 1960’s strict requirements concerning ability to stand for long times. She specialized in cardiac care and continued on with nursing as she moved from St. Louis to New York to Knoxville, Tennessee. In Knoxville, she married, had her first child (Brooke), and set up a cardiac care unit. This unit is still in operation today.
She later followed a different calling when she created a specialty children’s clothing line called Wee Creations. The business grew into Lollipops and Rainbows, an upscale clothing store for children in Ladue, MO. When she married again she gained three more children (Shabbir, Zareena, and Sameena).
It turned out that Linda would raise four children as a single parent, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her educational and career aspirations. She returned to school and gained a BSN and an MSN. She saw a need for quality geriatric care and became a Director of Nursing for long-term care facilities.
Her reputation for outstanding care, combined with her ability to mentor individuals earned her the loyalty of staff that followed her to each facility.
Linda had a unique ability to recognize people’s innate talents and encourage them to obtain positions that utilized those talents and abilities. She always encouraged her staff to follow their dreams, obtain college degrees, or just go to E.A.P. to get themselves where they needed to be. Because of the close relationship Linda had with so many of her staff and former staff, many are in the audience even today.
She found love late in life with her husband Darryl, and they thoroughly enjoyed their years together. The arrival of grandchildren brought pure joy into her life, and she welcomed each one with open, loving arms. She adopted people that needed love – related or not. Her table was always full, and her “family cup runneth over”. She laughed large, told jokes to which she frequently forgot the punch lines, and enjoyed every holiday as an opportunity to gather with her extended family.
Her revolving role as mother, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, aunt, employer, employee, friend, neighbor, or the nice lady who shopped at Lubeley’s Bakery was evident in her every motion.
She was loved by many and will be missed by all.