Linda Lee Hilleary
October 23, 1941 - June 4, 2019
Linda Lee Hilleary nee Phillips was born October 23, 1941 to Peggy and Stuart Phillips. She is survived by her brother Edward and sister June and cousins Nancy and Jeff. Her husband, Patrick, predeceased her by 4 months.
Linda spent most of her adult life in Washington; 35 with Patrick in Brier. She worked with developmentally challenged children early in her career and was a nursing home attendant later in life. There will be a memorial service some time later this year, sending her into Puget Sound from the Kingston ferry. Here are some tributes.
I was so blessed to have had my cousin Linda in my life! Although she faced many personal challenges she did so with a smile on her face and kindness in her heart.
Linda could heal the broken wing of a bird, nurture young animals abandoned by their mother and raise tadpoles to adult frogs.
She loved music and singing and she mesmerized me with her artistic ability to draw a horse in any imaginable position.
But, more than her ability to communicate with nature and her artistic talents was Linda’s compassion for her fellow human beings. She looked after mentally and physically impaired people that could not take care of themselves. She didn’t just care for them she loved them.
When I think of Linda a smile comes to my face because she always had one for me! I miss you, Kiddo!
My Amazing Big Sister
Many people would say that Linda was ‘dealt a poor hand’ because she suffered significant brain damage during birth. She experienced a particularly difficult childhood because her peers did not understand her mental limitations and they were too impatient to tolerate them. She was bullied, scolded, punished, berated, tricked, exploited and rejected. Public schools did not have specially-trained teachers or classes for children with mental impairments at that time. The constant emotional suffering became overwhelming and she was withdrawn from school at a very young age. Sadly, the mistreatment continued throughout her formative years and into adulthood, regardless of what age group she was part of. Linda had every good reason to withdraw from society; however, she did not. She had powerful inner strengths which were nothing short of amazing. The term our mother used was; ‘stick-to-itiveness’ (perseverance). Linda simply never gave up. Over the years, she largely self-taught herself and overcame many barriers along the way by sheer determination. She even mastered many skills which many people of so-called, ‘normal intelligence’ could not. At her core, Linda was one of the most gentle and kind-hearted persons I have ever known. She had an uncommon ability to communicate with animals which I have never seen in anyone else. (I believe animals could sense her love of them and knew she was harmless.) I always loved my ‘big sister’ and I admired her immensely. She was my greatest inspiration.
A Very Proud ‘Little Brother’