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Obituary of Linda Langston
Linda Langston was born in Washington, D.C., on August 26, 1947, at Columbia Hospital for Women, and died at home in Olympia, Washington, on August 19, 2023, after a long battle with three separate cancers. She called it the “Cancer Trifecta,” races she suspected she was destined to lose in the final turn, but she was going to run them as well as she could, and run them she did. Linda accepted death as a vital part of the cycle of life and passed away deeply grateful for having been given 75 years to learn from her mistakes. She said she could have used a few more of those years.
Linda died peacefully, surrounded by her family to whom she was deeply devoted. She is survived by her brothers, William Langston of Mineral Springs, Arkansas, and John Langston (Maureen) of Pensacola, Florida; sisters, Miriam Caro of Tacoma, Washington, Laura Langston of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lisa Christian of Lacey, Washington. Others include nieces and nephews, Amanda Langston (Russell) of Charlotte, North Carolina, JD and James Langston, of Pensacola, Florida, and Amber O’Leary (Ryan) of Mechanicsville, Maryland; and friend and partner, Elaine Garrison of Lacey, Washington. She was preceded in death by parents, William and Marion Langston; brother, James Langston; and nephew, Jesse Moorefield.
Linda was an amazing person who had a number of careers and hobbies. She loved to travel and was always ready for her next adventure. She learned to fly before she learned to drive and it was a lifelong passion. She graduated from St. Cecilia’s Academy in 1965 and, after graduation, entered the convent. After completing her postulant year and starting on her novitiate year, she felt she had to leave to support her family.
She started her career as a staffer in the U.S. Congress by working for Congressman Jim Broyhill (R-NC). After one year, she switched to working for Congressman Mo Udall (D-AZ) and even managed his presidential primary campaign in his home state of Arizona, when he ran against then Gov. Jimmy Carter. During this time, she traveled to Belgium and, along with a Belgium business partner, opened a restaurant and nightclub, which she would fly over to work at when Congress was in recess.
After her 20 years working in the U.S. Congress, she tried a brief stint as a Lobbyist for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and then departed for Alaska! She went on to open a 500-seat restaurant in Anchorage for a friend. She was asked by then Archbishop Hurley to take on Beans Cafe. Beans is a multi-service day center serving the homeless. She raised funds tirelessly to bring their endowment from a shoestring of a few hundred thousand dollars to over five million dollars. She brought in social workers to assist with both casework for service recipients and medication distribution, washers and dryers, a clothing bank, showers, 24/7 coffee and snacks. It was the ultimate low barrier facility and, according to Linda, her most rewarding job ever.
After a few years at Beans, she was asked to take over the State of Alaska Child Support (IV-D) program, and she did. She would fly her personal plane to remote Inuit villages. She did a lot of hiking in Denali National Park, and she flew to the arctic circle, landed on the ice and got out and took a photo of her and her beloved Cocker Spaniel, Josh, to commemorate the occasion.
After leaving Alaska in March 1991, she came down to work first as Assistant Director of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Support Enforcement Project, then as Director until her retirement in 2019.
Linda loved animals and was dedicated to rescuing and saving Chinese crested dogs and rescue Arabian horses. She enjoyed walking at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. An avid birdwatcher, she loved observing and identifying the many species that inhabited the wetlands. She was actively involved in teaching Hunter Education classes with the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and, when she was diagnosed with the last cancer, decided to acquire a rescue Arabian, Tucker. She was a member of Opus Arabians and was able to participate in a trail ride in Rainer National Park.
Her faith and helping others were very important to her. Friends remember her for her adventurous spirit, humor and giving heart.
There will be a funeral mass held on Friday, September 15, 2023, at 12:00 noon (Pacific time) at St. Michael Parish Church, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501. A celebration of Linda’s life will follow at the St. Michael Gathering Space. She will be inurned at the Odd Fellows Memorial Park, Tumwater, Washington, in a private ceremony with family.
In accordance with Linda’s wishes, she requested that everyone in attendance wear pink. Her family requests that you bring your favorite Linda stories to share with all who loved her to honor her memory. She will be deeply missed.
May the Holy Spirit support us all day long,
Till the shades lengthen and evening comes,
And the busy world is hushed; and the fever of
Life is over, and our work is done.
Then in His mercy may He give us
a safe lodging and a holy rest
And peace at the last.
~ Linda Langston
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