Posts Tagged ‘Marge Linton’

My Talk at Mom’s Memorial

9 August 2011

A sketch I did of my mom - from 1996

Below is my reconstruction of the talk I gave at my mom’s memorial service last Saturday.

My piece is a little shorter than others, so I feel like I have to give some context… sort of in my defense… not that there’s any competition between us siblings… any more.

At the point I spoke, Tustin Presbyterian’s Reverend Rebecca Prichard had introduced things beautifully. My brother-in-law Reverend Tom Gastil, the pastor of Aliso Creek Presbyterian Church, gave a great meditation that ranged from his initiations into our family, to humanity’s relationships with each other and with God. My tears kicked into full strength when Tom proudly mentioned marrying my sister in the sanctuary where we were assembled. (more…)

Mark Fletcher Linton Remembers Mom

8 August 2011

I didn't have a handy picture of Fletcher and mom together - so here's the next best thing Marge Linton with Fletcher's wife Laura and their daughter - Marge's granddaughter - Rachel. Not pictured in that family - Fletcher and his son Owen

At mom’s memorial, both Fletcher and I spoke from basic notes, so there’s no fully-polished piece to post here. Clarification for folks who may have tracked the Linton family but not kept up with every detail: Mark Fletcher Linton went by “Mark” growing up, but goes by “Fletcher” now and has done so for more than a decade.

I’ve tinkered with his notes a tiny bit, in order to try to make them slightly more comprehensible to the uninitiated… but (as with even the full transcripts I’ve posted so far) you had to be there to get the full effect…

Fletcher delivered this Margaret Gerhardt Linton remembrance at her memorial at Tustin Presbyterian Church on Saturday August 6th 2011.

Who she made me:

Nuts and Bolts: (any parent, I hope)  Diapers, Food Clothing, Shelter, Education

Culture: She gave me the things that made me who I am, the things I pass on to my kids:

  • Beatles [movie] Marathon (Oxy [Occidental College])
  • [Mozart’s opera The] Magic Flute
  • Occidental [College] Summer Stock (Gilbert & Sullivan)
  • Monty Python (PBS – 70s)
  • Apple Pies (Crust) [Joe’s note: Fletcher is a phenomenal baker, and he uses the pie crust recipe that mom taught him, that mom learned at Home Economics class at Montebello High School]

Friendship: Bike Ride (Montana de Oro/Morro Bay), Correspondence, Encouragement

Patience with mistakes – Unconditional Love (even when I was being, as she was fond of saying in jest, “an ungrateful wretch”)

      Speaking of Love… (more…)

Paige Gastil’s Gramma Reflections

8 August 2011

From left to right: Marge Linton and her grandchildren Daniel Linton and Paige Gastil

Here’s my niece Paige Gastil’s moving remembrance of her grandmother – my mother – Margaret Gerhardt Linton.

Paige is the youngest of my sister kids. She currently attends Laguna Hills High School.

My Gramma has always been a huge part of my life.

I remember as kids we would go over to her house every Friday night and watch movies and she’d make Mac and cheese and Fettuccine Alfredo,caesar salad and fish sticks. Gramma always loved us unconditionally. She adored all of her grandkids. She raved about each and every one of them and I know that she made a big impact on all of our lives.

I knew that I could always call her and she’d be delighted to talk to me. In my birthday card this May she wrote “if you ever need any kind of help, call me and tell me and I’ll be there for you.” I know she truly meant this and I’ll miss just being able to pick up the phone and hear her sweet voice. (more…)

Elizabeth Gastil’s Remembrance of our Mother

8 August 2011

Margaret Gerhardt Linton and Elizabeth Gastil Linton, at my brother Matt's wedding

In our ongoing series of posting our family’s reflections on our mother who passed away on Sunday July 31st 2011, below is my sister Liz’s piece. Earlier I posted a bio/obit piece we all worked on, initiated by Laura Archer Linton, and talks that Matt and Garrett gave at the memorial service. 

Here’s the reflection talk that Elizabeth Gastil Linton gave at mom’s memorial service. It took place on Saturday August 6th 2011 at Tustin Presbyterian Church.

Margaret Linton

You have heard the term “broken home”…my mother always told us that we came from a carefully broken home.  She broke it, and for good reason.  After my alcoholic father suffered from manic depression and paranoid schizophrenia.

After many years of trying to juggle his illnesses and a family of small children, she made the impossible choice to choose raising her four children over remaining in her marriage.  This was a decision she did not make lightly….. and while I was growing up, I never heard her utter a bad word about him, despite the many opportunities he gave her to do so. 

When she left my father, she had four kids under eight. We had times without a car where we rode our bikes to the store, and other times where we had no food in the house and my mom would bring just enough after work for dinner.

But, my mother made sure that we had her(more…)

Garrett Gastil’s Reflection on a Grandmother

8 August 2011

Garrett with my mom and my sister and brother's families. Mom is in the middle. Garrett is holding his cousin Daniel. From left to right, front row: Paige, Marge, Liz holding Lauren. Back Row: Tom, Garrett holding Daniel, Miles, Matt.

Here’s the piece that my nephew Garrett Gastil delivered beautifully at the memorial service for my mother last Sunday. Garrett also played piano for the prelude at the start of the service. Miles Gastil, his brother, opened the service with Hymne de L’Ascension by Erik Videaux, which Garrett followed with Trois Noturnes, Opus 9 #1 by Chopin.

Here’s Garrett’s remembrance of Margaret Linton:

Ever since I was very young, I remember being excited for Friday nights because that meant that we would be going to grandma’s house for the evening. Grandma made the greatest meals, or she would take us to Rutabagorz where we were known as the family that always asked for extra bread. Grandma’s also meant lots of coffee heath bar ice cream or as many dove bars as we wanted. Grandma always had things to say. She would tell us stories of her childhood, or about something cute we did as babies, or something crazy my mom and uncles did as kids.

We loved Grandma’s house because we loved grandma, and she loved us unconditionally. Grandma was always warm and welcoming. Every time Paige, Miles and I ran through her front door, her face would light up. Grandma had a very strong sense of family. She was very open with her affection for all of us. I remember she gave me two cards at my eighth grade graduation because “one wasn’t enough!” She then burst into tears as she said, “I just love you so much and I’m so proud of you.” (more…)

Matt Linton’s Recollections on Mom

7 August 2011

Mom and Matt dancing together at Matt and Liz's wedding

Here’s the talk that my older brother, Matt Linton, gave at mom’s memorial service yesterday.

Matt Linton’s sharing about Marge Linton
8/6/2011 Tustin Presbyterian Church

I am going to share a few personal stories of my mom so that you can get a sense of who she was and what she meant to me.

My mother sacrificed for us. My mom loved all of us children equally all though we would often accuse her of loving Fletcher more. My mom would tease us and say I should have raised chinchillas.

My dad was a manic-depressive alcoholic. She thought that if she just loved my dad enough that he would change. Alas my father Peter did not change. She choose us children over her husband.

My mom protected us. My dad would come home drunk and want to watch TV. My mom would say let’s go for a ride in the car. I would say where are we going? She said we going for a ride.

It might seem like an easy decision to leave a manic-depressive alcoholic spouse but it was not that simple.

My mom showed a great deal of courage and perseverance to raise us children alone. She went back to school to finish her library science degree. She worked two or three jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Not an easy task with hungry four teenagers. We would call our Mom at work and get her in trouble with her boss. We would say “Joe’s acting like Hitler – he will not let us watch our favorite TV show.”

Forgive me mom for calling you at work; I am sorry. Joe is a great person now. (more…)

A Reflection on the Life of Margaret Linton

6 August 2011

Margaret Gerhardt Linton 1937-2011

Below is the text of a sort of obituary/biography 1-pager that we handed out at today’s memorial service for my mom. It was initially drafted by my sister-in-law Laura Archer Linton, then the rest of us added on, revised and edited. My cousin Emily Lawrence Mendoza designed the actual flier, using some of my artwork – so I am planning to post the final version at my art blog soon. The service was full of tears, but really a wonderful time to share and catch up with so many folks who’ve been close to my mom and our family for so long. I hope to write more about the service really soon – probably tomorrow. (Updated: you can download the obit flier pdf designed by Emily Lawrence.)

A Reflection on the Life of Marge Linton
by Matt Linton, Joe Linton, Mark Fletcher Linton, Liz Gastil and Laura Archer Linton

Margaret Gerhardt Linton, known as “Marge” to her friends and family, was the third child of William Gerhardt and Mildred Staudenmayer. Marge was born in Los Angeles, on October 23, 1937.

Marge grew up in a very different Southern California, before extensive orange groves and small farms were replaced by the sprawling cities and freeways of today. “Margie” was a tall girl, reaching six feet by the end of 6th grade.  Marge graduated from Montebello High School. She was athletic, a swimmer and lifeguard, and an excellent student.  Marge attended Occidental College, majoring in History, and spending her junior year abroad in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1959, at age twenty-one, she married “the boy next door,” Peter Linton, a young engineer and Korean War veteran.  The newlyweds spent the next eighteen months traveling around Europe, before settling down in Portland, Oregon.  The couple’s four children, Matthew William, Joseph Russell, Mark Fletcher and Elizabeth Louise were born in Oregon.  The Lintons soon returned to Southern California, settling initially in El Toro in 1966. In 1968 the family moved to the city of Tustin, purchasing a newly constructed home where Marge would live for the next 43 years. (more…)

Margaret Linton Memorial Service this Saturday

2 August 2011

You’re invited to a memorial service for
Margaret Gerhardt Linton

detail of drawing of mom - 2003

August 6th 2011

service at 11am

at Tustin Presbyterian Church
225 West Main Street, Tustin, CA 92780

11am service in the church sanctuary
followed by reception with light refreshments
reception in the church Fellowship Hall

no rsvp – just bring yourself and join her loved ones in celebrating Marge’s life

in lieu of flowers,
we suggest a modest donation in her name
to theater programs she greatly enjoyed:
The Garage Theatre or UC Irvine Drama Department

Marge Linton passed away on July 31st 2011 after a brief hospitalization. She is survived by her four children and their families:

  • her son Matthew William Linton, his wife Liz Linton, their children Lauren and Daniel
  • her son Joseph Russell Linton
  • her son Mark Fletcher Linton, his wife Laura Archer Linton, their children Rachel and Owen
  • her daughter Elizabeth Linton Gastil, her husband Tom Gastil, their children Garrett, Miles and Paige
Updated 10 August 2011. Here are links to talks given at the service, subsequently posted. A few more may be forthcoming:
Lastly, here’s the text of the Marge Linton bio/obit sheet (or the printable pdf version) that Laura Archer Linton got started and that we all collaborated on – distributed that day.

Marge Linton with her granddaughter Paige Gastil

Margaret Gerhardt Linton 1937-2011

31 July 2011

Mom - Margaret Linton - with her gandson Garrett Gastil at Garrett's graduation June 2011

Well… I hope to write more about her soon and for a while… but a brief post to put it out there into the world that mom isn’t around any more.

Her four children, now adults, and her eldest grandchildren, my sister’s sons and daughter, have been at her side for the last few days, which mom spent at bed 2 of the Cardiac Care Unit of Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. Mom fell a week ago, Thursday July 21st, sustaining massive damage to her brain. She underwent an operation on Friday July 22nd and never regained consciousness.

She always told us that she never wanted to live on life support… and even requested that if any of us ever encountered her in an open casket that we should immediately run up and kick it shut. It was very difficult for her to spend time in hospitals… so… though we still harbored some hope of some sort of miraculous recovery… this past Friday, we all talked about what to do, and came to the conclusion that, if her condition didn’t take a dramatic turn for the better (or worse) that we would withdraw life support on Sunday – today. (more…)

Thinking of Mom

27 July 2011

Margaret Gehardt Linton - sitting at her front porch earlier this month

As I write this, my mom’s in the hospital… unconscious… unlikely to awaken. She’s definitely alive… but it’s also unlikely, even in the fortuitous case where she revives that she’ll be herself… she likely has brain damage, likely severe, likely debilitating.

So I’ve been thinking that I should write about her.  (more…)