Antique Vintage 15

Linda Darlene King

April 1, 1950 ~ February 11, 2022 (age 71)

Obituary

The Storybook Of Linda Darlene King

Abridged Edition

April 1, 1950 - February 11, 2022

 

Linda Darlene King died February 11th leaving behind her brothers Brian and Richard, her nephew Landon and niece Cassidy, many cousins, close friends, colleagues and many students to mourn her death.  She was a caring, gentle and kind woman who enjoyed being with friends and family.   Her greatest gift was sharing her love of reading with everyone. 

 

Chapter 1 The Early Years

 

Long ago in a far far away land, Calgary Alberta, there lived a happy couple Della and Theodore KIng .  On April 1, 1950, a small baby girl, Linda Darlene joined their family.  She was their pride and joy and when the family was to be enlarged Ted would take Linda to work with him on the train as he knew that if he left his wife and child together, he would return and one would be dead and the other in jail. Over the next few years, the family grew, and Brian and Richard completed the family.  Linda and her Mum would often fuss:  Della helped Linda pack her bag when she was running away from home, when Linda was dressed for a family outing and told to stay clean decided to go outside and climb the backyard fence, clean she wasn’t. The threat of the wooden spoon kept this young adventurer in line.

It is during these early years that Linda’s love for books began.  Her aunt in New York started a Linda King Book Club and monthly a choice of Linda’s and four other selections would arrive from Aunt Vi for her enjoyment.

 

Chapter 2 Go West Young Girl

 

In the early 1960’s The Kings packed up their household and moved to,New Westminster, British Columbia.   Both parents worked and they asked Linda to help make the meals and look after her younger siblings.  Mom and Dad negotiated with Linda for taking on these extra responsibilities.  Her response was she wanting to stay up until Mom came home at 11 and during that time of course she read, continuing to develop her love of books.

Linda during high school made many lasting friendships while joining CGIT, Junior Achievement and the school choir.  When future aspirations were being pondered Linda thought that she would like to be a nurse.  A session of being a Candy Striper altered that decision, but she did know that the pull of young children was worth pursuing.  She had many interesting jobs as a Fuller Brush consultant, a bean snipper at Royal City canning plant, a strawberry picker in Abbotsford and many babysitting jobs to help save towards her future education.

Linda’s post-secondary education was at UBC.  She was a part of a carpool and began her studies to become a teacher.  Linda could be found, at any time in the cafeteria, playing bridge where she learned to lead from kings and when asked what convention she was using would look blankly at you, “There are different sets of rules to follow!”    One of her professors would often comment, “Miss King, I forget you are taking this class until you randomly show up.” 

It is during this time that Linda assisted her dad in a study of racism in Vancouver with developing a case for young Black’s on finding accommodation. Linda would phone and set up an appointment to rent an apartment and when showing up for the interview would be told it had already been leased.  This experience impacted later on in developing one of her favourite teaching units.

Linda completed her degree in Elementary Education, Primary teaching with a specialty in Library Science.  She packed up her belongings and headed to the wilds of Penticton to begin a temporary Library position at Queen Park Elementary School.

 

 

Chapter 3 The Challenges of Small-Town Living

 

When Linda moved to Penticton there were no apartments, so she took up residence in a motel for the year.  The following year the first apartment had been built and Linda moved in before it was finished, she had to walk up the two stories to her place until the elevator was installed.  She soon settled in and was having people over for dinner and beginning her new life, in a new town.  Stores were closed on Sunday and there was not a shopping mall thus Linda searched for activities to keep her busy, and lots of time to read.

 

Much to friends amazement she tried curling (concision and broken collarbone), took the 10 lessons of short step to skiing (after the first lesson she went from group lessons to private as they guaranteed after 10 lessons you would be skiing), played volleyball in the teacher league, took up racket ball and when it came to baseball she gave the pep talks and kept the stats for the team.  Her athletic abilities were challenged and staying home reading were really all she wanted to do.  Her suggestion to friends were you go and enjoy your time doing what you like to do and I’ll stay home read and have dinner ready for you when you are finished.  She was a grand friend.

 

Every Fall and Winter Linda would get the local activity catalogue of events and thus pursued many crafts of angel making, Santa Claus construction, macrame, quilting, and rock painting all to be cast aside for reading.  Her friends soon learned that Linda’s main recreational activity was to read.  She read a book a day. 

 

Linda loved teaching and the students loved her.  The primary children would gather round her reading chair and have exciting stories read to them, the intermediate students soon found out that Linda could find the perfect book for them to read and asked for their input when ordering books for the collection and when the book came in Linda would often lend out the book before it had been processed.  Linda’s aim in teaching was to pass on to her students her love of reading.

 

Linda’s other great love was her niece and nephew.  They would come and visit and she would have activities planned, going to the movies, a trip to the bookstore of course, a parade to watch,  a tree to trim, breakfast with Santa and most certainly time to read.  These visits were extremely precious to her and as they grew and developed lives of their own she still relished their time together watching tv, having a meal and reading.

 

Linda always shared a classroom to makeup her full time teaching position.  During her jaunt into the world of daybooks and planning she created many classroom teaching units.  Her very favourite was The Underground Railway to Canada.  She personally collected books that the students could read as well as many books to give teacher background.  The materials were full of the rich experiences of the slaves journey into Canada.    It was a unit that she brought home when she retired. 

 

Linda’s library science skills were used three times while being in Penticton.  Queens Park School burnt and once the anxiety that she was still temporary teacher status was addressed and she became permanent Linda had the joy and pleasure of creating a school library. Huddled around a heater in one of the huts at O’Connell school she learned to master an electric typewriter and ordered the collection for Queens Park. During this time Parkway Elementary School was being built and so she  ordered the collection for them.  Halfway through her teaching career Linda transferred to Columba Elementary School. Once again she won the hearts of her students and assisted in many collaborative research programs with the teaching staff.    Her final year at Columbia, Linda with her knowledge of weeding books, repairing books, and using the electronic wand to do inventory, with the help of the school district ordered once more a complete collection to leave behind for future readers.  Reading was her love,

 

 

Chapter 4 The Joys of Retirement

 

Linda’s heart did not skip a beat as she entered into retirement.  She quickly volunteered and took a course to be a tutor at Okanagan College.  She worked with one student to pass his landscaping course, assisted another to pass the written exam for his driving license and worked with several students to learn to read and understand the written word.

 

Linda also became a board member for the Penticton Public Library.  She loved her time serving two terms and readily took on the tasks of Board Chair.  Her eight years were a time for her to continue her love of books and sharing that love with more people.

 

Crafts once more became part of her weekly activities.  She joined a knitting group and made many scarfs and toques for family and friends.  She finally completed an afghan after months of working on it’s fringe.  Linda would often tell the members of the group that she would rather throw her knitting under the bus if an opportunity came along to read or do something, anything else more interesting.  Many Monday mornings she would sit with her arms embracing her knitting bag and listen to the chatter of the other ladies, content to listen rather than knit.

 

Linda’s most exciting retirement activity was to continue creating a summer reading list for family and friends.  Linda had begun in her final years of teaching to make a list of books to consider for the long lazy days of summer.  In retirement she delved deeply into book lists to create an extensive balanced reading list for friends.  It was painful to watch her two finger typing skills and listen to her agonize over keeping the list accurately presented. .  Finally a good friend came along introduced her to a spread sheet for her list and her delight was like watching a young child Christmas morning. Linda’s two and three page book lists of the beginning developed into twelve pages to ponder and consider.  Linda’s 2021 Summer reading List remains on her computer never having been sent.

 

The Epilogue

 

The family wish to thank all the staff at the Heart Function Clinic in Kelowna,  all the staff at the

Renal Clinic in Penticton and the staff at Moog Hospice House in Penticton for their support and care of Linda dining the past year.

 

Saying goodbye to one we cherish is hard.  Let’s do it in a Linda King fashion.  Find a good book, sit down and begin to read and should you still be reading at 4 AM you know Linda will be smiling.  Give books as gifts and read to the children in your life, once again Linda will be smiling.  And for the quirky moment take you car and go to the car wash, Linda will not only be smiling but laughing as this was one of her favourite past times even though she didn’t drive. 

 

Many ask how we can pay tribute to this special lady.  The family is suggesting giving a donation to the Penticton Regional Library in her name:  

Online through Canada Helps https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/penticton-public-library/?mprompt=1 or by cash or cheque directly to the Library (785 Main St., Penticton BC, V2A 5E3).

 

 

The End

 


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