Linda my love, may God bless you and keep you, may He shine His face upon you; may He lift His countenance on you and give you peace.
Linda, you taught me the meaning of Christ’s words: that God seeks mercy not sacrifice; that we are to love one another as ourselves, and that we are to do unto others as we would have done unto us.
Linda Lee Larson Molina, Christian, was born May 31, 1948 in Maywood, Ill. to Holden and Lois Larson. Linda’s mother, father, and brother, Stephen preceded her in death. Linda grew up in Villa Park, Ill. and had many fond memories of her many childhood friends.
During high school in the early 60s, when the riots were happening, Linda volunteered with the Prince of Peace to live in Detroit with the Dorsey family. She wanted to let people know that not all “whites” hated African Americans. Linda remained in touch with the family for many years, and she was greatly saddened when she learned that the only son of the family who was a Marine was killed in Vietnam in the late-60s.
Linda went to Valparaiso University in northern Indiana and she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1972.
Linda and I (Phillip Molina) were married on June 14, 1969 in Villa Park, Ill. after a short engagement while we were both at the same University. Linda successfully completed her master’s courses at Fresno State after she interned at Atascadero State Hospital for adult males who pose a threat to others or themselves. During our 44 years together, Linda became the Director of Cape Head Start in Livermore for seven years until we moved to Hollister.
Linda started food pantries for needy families in Paso Robles and Dublin. She always supported and volunteered to help causes for under-privileged children. Linda was also a house parent for six emotionally disturbed girls. And Linda was acknowledged as the person who helped a 12-year-old girl at the home, who a year earlier had her hands dipped in boiling water to begin to talk again.
I had the honor of experiencing Linda’s integrity, courage, love and devotion many times. The first time I saw Linda keep her integrity and honesty was during the ongoing testing of the wives of officer candidates attending Combat Engineer’s Officer’s School at Fort Belvoir.
Throughout our short time together, Linda taught me that from a place of love we must fight for justice and righteousness for those who are disadvantaged. Linda’s personal strength and love was also present during our legal battles against the city. Though she was in constant pain and bleeding she would get up at 4 a.m. to make lunch for us and our legal team. She fought pain and kept calm for me during those difficult times.
Linda’s love and faith kept her by my side throughout all the lies that she was forced to hear until finally seven years later during the last trial the city was forced to tell the Judge that they had no evidence to prove their allegations against me. By the time we won our federal case against the city and could afford medical treatment, Linda had already developed stage 4 endometrial cancer.
Linda continued to fight for life and our love for 7 years after the surgeon removed a 4-pound cancer tumor. Through many difficult sessions of chemotherapy and radiation she always kept her beautiful smile and positive attitude for my sake.
Linda’s strength was also in her abilities to recall dates, times, places and people for me during our years together. She covered for my weaknesses so many times that people thought I had those talents.
Linda loved people and especially children. Her love also extended to our many pets. Our dog Maxi and her many cats would often surround Linda with their reciprocal affections. Linda died Thursday, Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. at our home.
Linda my love, I will always love you. I miss you more than words can tell. I don’t know how I can continue, except that I do want to keep your love alive so I can see you again soon.
Surviving family members include Linda’s sisters-in-law, Bonnie Larson, and Rachel Sasaki-Molina. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law Leon, Michael, Daniel and many nieces and nephews. Linda’s loving, grateful and caring husband Phillip.
A ceremony of Linda’s life is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at Ivy Lawn Memorial Lawn, 5400 Valentine Road, Ventura.For the complete article see the 01-03-2014 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-03-2014 paper.
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