Linda L. McKenna
- Visitation: Memorial Visitation
Saturday, July 7th from 3:00 - 6:00 PM
- Location: Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home
6447 Route 25A Wading River, New York
- Service Type: Remembrance Service
Saturday, July 7th at 5:00 PM during Visitation
- Interment: Private Cremation
Born: April 23, 1943
Died: June 26, 2012
McKENNA, Linda L., age 69 of Wading River, NY on June 26. Beloved wife of Richard. Loving mother of Michael and his wife Kim. Cherished grandmother of Hunter, Carson and Sky. Dear sister of Eloise (Hank) McFalls, Robin (Bill) Hockenberry and John (Phyllis) Uebelacker. Memorial visitation, Sat. July 7th 3-6 PM, Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home, 6447 RT 25A, Wading River.
Linda was a caring, creative, gifted, talented, inspirational person…these are just a few of the words that describe her. She began her work as a social worker in Beaver County, Pa. as well as Suffolk County, N. Y. When her son Mike was born she became a full time mom, a role she relished throughout her life. When Mike was three Linda applied and got a teaching position at the Port Jefferson Montessori School and Mike went right along with her. Later the school moved to Stony Brook and became known as North Shore Montessori School. She helped shape the school in the early days and it has flourished ever since. Linda’s true love was her work with children. During her tenure at North Shore Montessori, from 1971 to 1998 she worked tirelessly to develop the Movement Program, a thirty minute morning period where children could explore their individuality and creativity. At the end of each year, the program culminated with a performance known as the “Movement Show which highlighted the children’s accomplishments.
The students she touched remember her as a powerful, inspirational force that encouraged them to tap into their native curiosity and creativity. Linda’s infectious enthusiasm inspired children to try new things without fear of failure or being judged. Her movement class was a safe place for joyous celebration, experimentation and sharing. Each group of children was greeted with a huge smile that radiated Linda’s warmth. The children’s eyes would shine with anticipation as they ran through the doors to view the magnificent climbing structures she built and the wonderful activities that lay ahead.
Linda worked tirelessly to keep the movement program fresh and new. She could be seen lugging heavy balance beams or apparatus up and down from the attic so that the children would have new and creative ways to challenge themselves to reach higher levels of physical development. Linda was always adept at challenging children while ensuring they would build self esteem and not get too frustrated. Students learned roller skating, balance, dance, and sports while developing cooperation skills, kindness and empathy. Linda ensured that safety and manners were emphasized in each lesson. She would theatrically and gracefully demonstrate each activity melting away any anxiety a child would have about trying something new. Squeals of delight were heard as they were told they were ok to go to Movement Class. When she reached her landmark anniversary, the school, parents, and the board awarded her a vacation to Holland to thank her for her years of exemplary service. Her legacy has rippled far into the world as the children she touched, grew into confident, brave and creative adults.
Linda’s influence extended into her community where she played an active role helping to initiate positive change. Her generosity of spirit was also extended toward individuals as she helped by offering them emotional support. Linda was a devoted friend, spending time with the young as well as the old. In an age when so many people are too busy, Linda made time to make her friends feel special and loved. Once you met her you’d never forget her, and…she never forgot your face, down to the mole on your chin.
She was a picture taker. Most that knew her have pictures, a storybook of memories, a card with notes of how glad she was to have met you, or a poem of things about you.
It is rare to have the experience of knowing an individual with the breadth of sensitivity, intuition and generosity that Linda possessed. She will never be forgotten as each day we will celebrate her life, her smile and her curious, creative nature. I find comfort in imagining her off somewhere, with her warm smile on her face, dancing freely with the Angels where she belongs!