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Linda Lee Eastman

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Linda Lee Eastman Obituary
POQUOSON - Linda Lee Eastman, 71, resident of Poquoson died on January 14, 2015, after a two month illness. Linda was born in Queens, NY on February 18, 1943. She grew up on Long Island, NY where she graduated from East Meadow High School. Linda was one of three children born to the late Charles and Jane Ford. She is survived by her devoted husband of 50 years Robert (Bob) Eastman, loving son Robert Jr. (Bobby), adored grandchildren Hayden and Hannah, dear sister Nancy Sheehan, a brother Dennis, her venerable aunt Helen Edwards and a close step cousin Winifred Armstrong. She earned a B.A. at Harpur College, SUNY at Binghamton and a M.A. From Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University in New Orleans. She worked for several years as a field and child protective services social worker in Louisiana, Alabama and Virginia before earning an MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University. Later she qualified for the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), the most widely recognized and respected social work credential. During her years in Hampton Roads Linda was employed by The City of Newport News as a professional social worker in senior, supervisory, and administrative positions notably Director of The Mayor's Youth Commission, as well as other related appointed or voluntary posts, such as President of the Virginia Delinquency Prevention and Youth Development Association, and President of the Child Sexual Abuse Task Force. She had a lifelong love of beaches, sun and swimming from growing up on Long Island . As teenager she spent summers at Cranberry Lake in New Jersey where she met her husband Bob. As a college student she worked as a lifeguard on Long Island during the summer. When she lived in the deep south she spent many weekends on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually discovered the Florida Keys. After moving to Hampton Roads She was enchanted by the North Carolina Outer Banks and found a beach bungalow in Kill Devil Hills so the family could share her love of the area. Linda's early academic interest in Art and Architecture motivated summers of travel throughout Europe and Mexico. When she became an avid scuba diver in middle age much of her vacation travel to Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii, The Cayman Islands and especially The Florida Keys was spent on a beach, a boat or underwater. During the last decade Linda rented a waterfront house on Summerland Key for two months of the winter. Her grand kids loved a winter break from school and old friends had an open invitation to come down to visit historic Key West and enjoy warm weather and the many activities available in a tropical paradise. Linda particularly enjoyed taking the boat to uninhabited keys and snorkeling a favorite coral reef. In Poquoson, she rediscovered the joy of clamming she knew as a child on Long Island. She attended water aerobics classes nearly every weekday after retiring; then, on warm weekends with low tides she would go clamming with her husband. She made a great Manhattan clam chowder for others to eat. Linda had a small family and few close relatives, but she had many friends, and her friends were very important to her. She stayed in contact with friends from elementary and high school and got together with them often. After she retired they would meet at least once a year usually for few days at a beach nearby one of their homes. It was the same with a free spirited and gentle couple she introduced to one another while in Arkansas. Here in Hampton Roads she had several close friends from Newport News Social Services that she would get together with at festive social events. Linda made many new friends from the water aerobics classes at the Peninsula Fitness Center where she was a regular after retiring. They often would meet for lunch and keep up with one another's lives. Her closest circle of friends are a group of women who worked together on volunteer projects for service organizations related to their professional lives. When these activities ended they got together for purely social and recreational reasons. The group called themselves the "Crayons" after the costumes they designed and wore at Halloween parties in the Outer Banks. Later they became Mahjong enthusiasts and started a "floating" Mahjong game hosted each month by one of the Crayons. The game traveled a couple of times to Linda's rental house in the Keys and more often to the Melbourne, Florida home of one of the group. Eventually, the Florida junkets evolved into an annual ten day get together at Camp Melbourne where they would enjoy beaches, visit theme parks, take kayak and air boat tours by day and play mahjong far into the night. About a month before she died Linda felt well enough to play mahjong one more time with her friends. She was pleased to win a game. A family gathering in memory of Linda has already been held. Donations to a charity Linda would support is a fitting memorial
Published in Daily Press on Feb. 7, 2015
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