MISSOULA — Linda Sue Barr passed away at her home, surrounded by family, on Jan. 6. She died of lung cancer after a courageous 15-month battle.
Linda was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Dec. 15, 1954 to John and Erma Wilson. She graduated from Cedar Falls High in 1972. She also attended Iowa State.
Linda is survived by her husband Doug and their children Justin and Nicole, her brother Michael Wilson (Cynthia) of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and her sister Cyndi Harvey (Clayton) of Lamar, Missouri. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother David Wilson of Paducah, Kentucky.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be at Garden City Funeral Home on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.
Linda was a natural athlete and excelled at anything she tried. At a young age she followed her sister Cyndi's lead and began twirling baton. She practiced up to eight hours a day and won many baton competitions. She was the National and World Baton Twirling Champion and was even featured with her sister Cyndi on the Ted Mack show. She also won the Iowa State Fair Competition, beating out Miss Iowa for first place. Her prize was a trip to Hawaii and a new Ford Pinto car. She continued to twirl for the Iowa State Marching Band during her time at Iowa State University.
In her early years she enjoyed road trips, camping and fishing. Linda enjoyed playing games and doing activities at the neighborhood park. Linda and her sister Cyndi enjoyed helping their mother on Saturdays and sampling her baked goods. They also liked to dress up their younger brother, David, in their doll clothes.
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Linda moved to Denver to attend Barnes Business College where she earned a degree in accounting. She quickly became a Denver Bronco fan and would remain so all her life and wouldn't miss watching a game, even when they were losing. She loved animals, especially her two Jack Russell terriers and her cat Hobbs.
Linda took up golf late in life but she worked hard and learned the game quickly. She could often be found making the rounds at Larchmont, her favorite course.
Linda was a fighter and was determined to continue to live as long as she could. She had amazing strength and faced her cancer with courage and determination.
In the last year of her life, I visited her a number of times and she always amazed me with her strength and positive spirit. She loved playing cards, Yahtzee, and we toyed with putting puzzles together. We would text each other when either the Vikings or Denver Broncos were playing football. It was one of her joys. Linda was not one to give up. She fought her condition the best she could with courage and conviction. During one of my visits, she told me that she and Doug wanted to take me golfing. I knew that was something she liked to do, but I had not golfed for over 35 years. Well, we went golfing and I didn't do that well, but I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to continue playing. Linda's natural ability also showed when she played golf.
I am so grateful for the kindness and care that Linda received from physical therapists, her oncologist, nurses and doctors. I really felt like she was getting the best of care from everyone. I think that personal level of care kept her going and helped her face some very difficult circumstances. For all that helped her, we thank you so much.
Our prayers now go out to Doug and his family. From the initial diagnosis, Doug played the caregiver role with calm, courage and love in times that were often very difficult. His ability to stay strong for Linda, also helped her to face her condition with courage.