Linda Anderson, mother, sister, aunt, Darlin’, friend, teacher and theater patron, died peacefully as the sun rose Sunday morning, September 4, 2022. She was never a fan of early mornings, telling her family that she’d seen more than her share during her thirty years teaching school.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy Louise Hill, her daddy, John Edward Nathey, and her second daddy, Raymond Brooks. She is survived by her husband, Herbert “Andy” Anderson; her children, Elizabeth Anderson Speed, David Nathey Anderson, and Katie Anderson Jeansonne; her son-in-law, Mark Jeansonne; grandsons, Jack and Andy Speed; sisters, Gail Pennington and Janet(Garland) Hickman; nephews and nieces, Shannon, Paula, Michael, John, Natalie, Sarah, Brooks, Mary Cathrine, Daniel, and Matthew; her dear friends; (The Whole Thing) and thousands of students who were changed and inspired by her.
Linda was born in Winter Haven, Florida and spent much of her childhood in Savannah, Georgia. She became a Mobilian and a Murphy High School student at 16 and was fiercely proud of both.
Linda loved learning and history and the English language, and she would be raising her eyebrow at all of the run on sentences in this obituary. She worked her way through school and became the first in her family to graduate college. And even though she didn’t like early mornings, she loved teaching and loved her students.
She began her career as an educator at Headstart and Whitley Elementary School. In 1985, began teaching at Leinkauf Elementary School, where her own children were also students, and sang the Leinkauf school song (Three Cheers!) with gusto for the next 27 years. She was named Leinkauf Teacher of the Year and was a mentor to many new teachers.
Linda loved her three children, Elizabeth, David, and Katie. David was her favorite, but she really liked the girls, too. She loved being a mom. She cooked full breakfasts, made nutritionally balanced and interesting bag lunches, and sang “wake up, wake up, you sleepy head” every morning for 17 years. She wrote notes of love and encouragement and “This Day in History” facts and packed them in every one of those lunches.
Linda loved to travel. She especially loved Ireland, Italy, and Paris, but she also loved a road trip. She thought nothing of packing the kids, and sometimes a family dog or two, in her wood-paneled station wagon and hitting the highway (not the interstate), singing along to Carly Simon or the Four Tops on the radio.
She loved stories, both funny and scary, and was a master at telling both. She did not love picky eating or loud voices. She did not love dirges, but that didn’t stop her from loving her church, All Saints Episcopal.
She loved to sit outside at Callaghans with her friends and talk and laugh after school until dark. She loved entertaining and, with Andy, threw epic parties at their home on South Monterey Street.
She loved the theater. She served on the board of the Joe Jefferson Playhouse for over 15 years and as president for 7. She was the actors’ and creatives’ biggest fan and rarely missed a performance. She turned the usual pre- and post- performance lobby scene into a party, welcoming all with a smile, a cheer and open arms. She only took the stage once as a performer, in “A Bunny Comes to Jackson’s Ferry,” written by her friend, Danielle Juzan, she slayed. She was a natural and a star.
She loved and absolutely delighted in her grandsons, Jack and Andy. She carried a full photo album of them in her purse in case she ran into anyone who might need an update. To say she was proud of them, would be an understatement.
She loved her sisters, Janet and Gail. They could sit and talk for hours and hours laughing and sometimes crying and sometimes both at the same time.
She loved her son-in-law, Mark Jeansonne. They shared dances in the kitchen and sweet conversations, and she liked to check on him while he worked in his office at home.
Linda loved cool gray days at the beach, but she loved the Smokey Mountains more. She loved board games, linen, oatmeal cookies from Winn Dixie, and finding cool leaves and shapes in the clouds.
Alzheimer’s Disease took many things away from her in the last seven years of her life, but it never took away her wonder and excitement at the beauty of the world. It never took away her love, her hugs, or her smile.
We are especially grateful for her caregiver, Nykoea Evans, and for the compassion, dignity, and peace she received at Carillon Oaks and later at The Retreat by Saad Hospice.
We will celebrate her life with a service at All Saints Episcopal Church, 151 S. Ann Street in Mobile, at 11AM on September 17, 2022, with a reception after at Sterling Hall.
In memory of Linda, please buy yourself a margarita, tell a funny story, support public schools, go to a play at your local theater and give a standing ovation at the end.
Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.