Wilson, Linda Joy

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Linda Joy Wilson, 75, passed away January 12, 2018. Linda was born in Bozeman, Montana, on February 19, 1942, to Gene and Dorothy Wilson. She grew up in Marcell, Big Falls, and Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the oldest of five sisters. She spent much of her childhood on lakes and in the woods. Linda attended Grand Rapids High School (Minnesota), graduating in 1959. Always a good student, Linda attended Gustavus Adolphus College on an academic scholarship, finishing her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Minnesota. She went on to obtain masters degrees in library science and education, as well as an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Linda married Allen Bachelder in 1962. During their marriage, they had two children, Lisa and Chris, moving to upstate New York for several years before returning to Minnesota, then moving to Southwestern Virginia in 1977. While in Virginia, Linda started her career at Virginia Tech University Libraries, providing reference and research instruction services to students and faculty. Later, Linda joined the faculty in the College of Education and Human Development at Radford University, where she taught instructional technology and graduate licensure courses in library science.

Linda retired from Radford University in 2001. She met her partner, Joyce Graham, in 1991 and moved to Elliston to live with Joyce on her family’s farm in 1993. They shared a rich 25 years together, traveling, entertaining, and pursuing a spiritual path that was important and enriching to them both.

Linda embraced life in Eastern Montgomery County. Some of her community engagement efforts included Member and Chair of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Board of Directors, heading the Montgomery County Friends of the Library, and starting – with others – the Meadowbrook Quilters, Eastmont Garden Club, and the Eastmont Arts Association. She was also actively involved in establishing the Meadowbrook Community Center and Museum; however, her proudest achievement may have been joining in the effort to plan and launch the Meadowbrook Public Library.

Linda had a true affinity for combining colors, textures, and patterns in quilting, printing, and collage – and in the activities she devised for her children and grandchildren. She was often quiet, belying an active and restless mind full of colors and ideas for the rearrangement of spaces and shapes. She made a good gin and tonic, a great salad, and was quick to notice beauty where others saw none.

Linda was preceded in death by her parents; and her sister and brother-in-law, Kathy and Jack Buckley; and by her singularly serene cat, Buddha. She is survived by her partner, Joyce Graham; her children, Lisa Bachelder (Raleigh, N.C.) and Chris Bachelder (Cincinnati, Ohio); Lisa’s husband, Ron Thigpen; and Chris’s wife, Jenn Habel and their two daughters – Linda’s beloved grandchildren – Alice and Claire; three sisters and brothers-in-law also survive her, Lana (Bob) Porter of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Susan (Tim) Johnson of Richfield, Minn., and Wendy (Denny) Roy of Grand Rapids, Minn. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, whom she loved very much; and her best friend, Sharry Sochinski.

The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Linda’s dedicated and compassionate nursing assistants at Commonwealth Senior Living, staff from Kindred Home Care and Intrepid Hospice, and others who were there to support her. Linda was blessed to have the loving care of Gaetan Desombre and Kimberly Weeks.

A memorial service and reception will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Blacksburg, VA, on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Linda’s memory to one of the following: Meadowbrook Library; P.O. Box 497; Shawsville, VA 24162 or Parkinson’s Foundation; 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800; Miami, FL 33131