Linda was born on December 8, 1941 in Long Beach, California to Harold Snowden of Colorado and Maureen Major of Missouri. It was the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the hospital, as well as the entire southern California coast, was in a “blackout situation,” because it was feared that the next target was the U.S. Navy shipyard in Long Beach. A truly auspicious beginning.
The family moved to Fontana, California shortly after the war, where her father opened a meat locker plant and butcher shop and where Linda attended school. Linda graduated from Fontana High School and obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Chaffee College in Ontario, California.
I first met Linda in 1974 where we both worked at the Air Force Audio Visual Service Film Library at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. We were married in Las Vegas, on December 6, 1976. In 1983 we were transferred to Sacramento, California where we stayed until we moved to Tucson in October, 2003.
During her government career as a clerical worker, Linda worked for the Department of Defense, the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. She retired in 1994 after 32 years of Federal service. After she retired, Linda worked for the Girl Scouts of America in Sacramento and Verizon Cell Phone Company where she was a “Can you hear me now” person, where she helped determine the signal strength at different locations. Linda was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and was very active in the Sacramento chapter.
We moved to Tucson in October, 2003 due to my health issues. There, Linda found Home Instead Senior Care, and said it was the best job she ever had. It didn’t pay as much as her other jobs, but she finally found something she truly loved to do. She never enjoyed the 32 years she spend pushing paper for the government. Linda loved people and animals. She loved entertaining in her home and giving gifts. For those of you who know Linda from Home Instead, I want to let you in on a little secret: Linda was terrible with directions. With every assignment you gave her, we had to do a dry run the day before to locate the residence so she wouldn’t be late. She would always arrive at the job site 30 minutes early and wait in her car for her shift to start. In this day and age, you don’t find many employees with that kind of loyalty and dedication.
Linda was raised as an only child, but she had an older half-brother named Major Leritz, and an older half-sister named June Snowden Brown, both deceased. Linda has two sons: Rick Marshall of Highland, California, and Russell Marshall of Roseville, California. And she has a niece, Betty Brown Shoemaker of Ridgecrest, California. She also has three grandchildren: Kassie Marshall Madrid of Orangevale, California; and Zachary and Katie Marshall of Highland, California. She has eleven great grandchildren: Miles, Kyliegh, and Kingston of Orangevale, California; and Johnny, Frankie, Stacy, Kacie, Derrick Jr, Skylie, Zalynn, and Zachary Zane of Highland, California. Before her passing she lived with me and our two dogs, Tipsy and Joker.
Linda was the joy of my life, even though we were very different. Linda enjoyed being around people and entertaining; I liked my solitude. Linda was a manic Californian; I was a slow-moving Southern boy. Linda liked being indoors; I was an outdoor person.
This reminds me of a story I would like to relate. After many months of begging and pleading, I finally convinced Linda to go tent camping with me. We went to a place on the eastern side of the Sierras, called June Lake. We arrived early and set up our camp, so we decided we would drive over the mountains to Yosemite on the Tioga Pass Highway. It was a narrow two-lane road with no guardrails. Next to Pike’s Peak, it had to be the scariest road in America. Linda hated heights and this road climbed to about 13,000 feet. After finally getting a terrified Linda to Yosemite, a storm started moving in from the west. So we headed back to our campsite. When we started back down Tioga Pass, the storm caught up to us. It was raining and sleeting, and the wind was blowing something fierce. On the way down, Linda looked out her window and could not see the ground. So she covered her head and hyperventilated all the way down the mountain. When we arrived back at our campsite, we found that the wind had flattened our tent. We were exhausted, but we put our tent back up, climbed into our sleeping bags and went right to sleep without dinner. About 3:00 o’clock the next morning, a large wet animal climbed right into our tent and jumped on top of us. We both woke up screaming, thinking we were being attacked by a bear. Our screaming scared the animal off. We found out later that it was not a bear, but a large dog that belonged to a local resident who let him out early every morning to go for a swim in the lake. That was Linda’s first, last, and only camping trip.
Linda was one of a kind and a very special lady.
I will miss her greatly. One last thing: Linda, I know you’re watching me now, so tell God hello for me, your loving husband, Jon.