|Birth: ||Oct. 18, 1948|
|Death: ||Sep. 14, 2011|
MINOT, N.D. - Former Great Falls resident and Montana Air National Guard veteran Linda Grote, 62, died of cancer Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Minot, N.D.
There will be no visitation, but family and friends are invited to sign the memorial register book from noon to 5 p.m. today at the Thomas Family Funeral Home in Minot. Her funeral is 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, and burial with military honors is 10 a.m. Tuesday at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, N.D.
Linda was called to heaven while in the company of her immediate family. She fought a courageous battle with cancer for the last 15 months, but succumbed to the disease peacefully and with dignity on Sept. 14, 2011.
Linda was born Oct. 18, 1948, in Patterson, N.J., and very early in life moved to White Plains, N.Y., where she remained through all of her White Plains High School years. While still a teenager, Linda also attended and graduated as a certified beautician from the Queens Beauty Institute. When she was in school, she met and later married the love of her life, Jimmy. They were engaged on Christmas Eve, and married on New Year's Eve 1967, while he was on leave from an overseas assignment with the Air Force.
Linda and their only son James III joined her husband in Germany, and lived in a small community outside of Hahn Air Force Base until returning to their next assignment in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1970. After Jimmy's tour in Vietnam, they later moved to Great Falls, where they settled for many years.
While in Montana, Linda worked in retail for Montgomery Ward, and enlisted and served with the Montana Air National Guard (MANG) while maintaining her family life. Linda was assigned to an administrative position in the security forces squadron, in which she served honorably for 11 years, achieving the rank of staff sergeant. She resigned her position with MANG in 1990 to move to Minot, where her husband took a job with the Air National Guard at their Civil Engineering Technical Services Center.
In May 1990, Linda started working for Sears at Dakota Square in Minot, where she remained until her health forced her to retire in 2010. During her career with Sears, she moved between a few departments to allow her to diversify her experiences, starting with the electronics department and ending up in the shoe department. She was known as an incredibly reliable, cheerful and dependable employee. She ran the department as if she was an owner, and wanted her co-workers to do the same.
Linda leaves behind the loves of her life, her husband of 44 years, James Jr.; only son James III, his wife Sharlotte (Fields), whom she thought of as her daughter, and her four grandsons, James IV, Steven E., Landon D., and Caleb A. Linda had a special bond with her younger brother Steven and his wife Shelly, with whom she had to be on the phone every week so they could watch and comment on "Survivor," a tradition which went on for many years.
Linda also is survived by her beloved older sister, Barbara (Tony) Fanelli of Holmes, N.Y.; her brother-in law Richard of Joplin, Mo.; sister-in-law Gloria (Marriott) of White Plains, N.Y.; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
She was preceded in passing by her beloved parents, Rose (Cimerola) and George Stelling; her nephews, Wayne and Sal Jr.; and several other aunts and uncles.
Linda loved life, especially when she was with family, whether it was fishing or just sitting around the barbecue. Linda's final days at home were spent constantly voting for "Oak Park" in the Coke contest so her grandbabies would have a nice place to play while growing up.
Linda's goal in life was to spoil her grandchildren while maintaining discipline, and she always insisted the boys maintain a good attitude. Linda will be deeply missed, but not forgotten, by those whose lives she touched.
Memorials are preferred to Trinity Cancer Care Center, Minot, N.D.
Condolences may be posted online at www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on September 17, 2011
North Dakota Veterans Cemetery
North Dakota, USA
Created by: Judyvv
Record added: Sep 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76657383
Added: Sep. 29, 2011