Linda Kirkham of Harvest, Ala., underwent double heart-valve surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., on June 9, 2015, and never awoke.
She passed away on Friday, June 12, 2015. She endured heart surgery in 1979 and again in 2013—all related to rheumatic fever suffered at an early age.
Linda was born in Oklahoma near the end of World War II to Dewey and Sybil Hess. She was the last of her family, having lost a sister and brother to cancer, a brother to a Jeep accident in the United States Army, a sister to emphysema and a younger sister to multiple health issues.
Linda moved to Meeker, Colo., at a very early age, completing high school there. She then moved to Durango, put herself through secretarial school and worked for the San Juan Basin Health Unit. She and Robert Kirkham were married in Durango in 1969 and then, shortly thereafter, they moved to Roxton, Texas.
Linda remained in Texas for 10 years, spent nine years in Tucson, then moved to Huntsville, Ala., in 1988. During those years, she earned degrees in computer science and business and developed a long list of hobbies and interests, such as flying, hiking, biking, yoga, Tai Chi, water colors, acrylic painting, photography, writing poetry, Haikus and more, excelling in all.
She retired from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, having worked more than 10 years as a budget analyst.
Linda was always devoted to her daughters, Amber and Heather, and grandchildren Brandon, Aquarius and ChinaCat. They were her greatest joy and her source of inspiration.
Services were held at 2 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Huntsville, Ala., on Friday, June 19, 2015. Visitation had been held at 1 p.m.