Linda Waterfall
1949 - 2019
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Linda Waterfall

1949 ~ 2019

Linda Waterfall - luminous composer of songs and music, singer, poet, pianist, guitarist, and artist- died in Seattle on January 8, 2019, following a long illness.

Linda grew up in a musical family. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.A. in visual art and began a musical career based in Seattle. Between 1977 and 2019, she produced thirteen albums of her original music, performed locally and nationally, taught, and produced albums for other musicians.

The distinctive beauty of her music came from Linda's personal genius combined with influences from classical, folk, jazz, rock and world music. She was repeatedly named Seattle's top singer-songwriter. Her 2015 album, Hometown Girl, was chosen by Seattle Times music critic Paul de Barros as one of his ten favorite albums of the year. In 2016, readers of Seattle Magazine voted Linda one of Seattle's 20 most-talented people.

Other colorful threads wove through Linda's life. She maintained a daily spiritual practice, loved the natural world, and shared with her husband Bob Searle a deep affection. At their small, handbuilt, river-side cabin near Forks, they forged many of their fondest memories.

Survivors include her sister Susan Waterfall, brother-in-law Allan Pollack, nephew Julian Pollack, and a wide community of students, fellow musicians and friends.

There will be a celebration of her life in March; details to follow at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
July 17, 2020
My heart skipped a beat and tears fell from my eyes when I heard that she passed away
Joy rain
February 5, 2019
I have always loved Linda from the time I first met her in Olympia back in the 1970s. What a special person she was, a great musician and an artist, too. She came to my drawing group way out in the sticks a few times. Linda was as beautiful as her name, and I will always miss her.
Alan Moen
January 23, 2019
The world is a poorer place today. But my life was richer by far, and so was our community, because of the life Linda lived, and the music she created and shared with us.
Flip Breskin
January 20, 2019
I first heard Linda perform in the late 70s while living in Eugene. She played the first half acoustically and then pulled out an unruly electric guitar for the second half. It was pretty crazy, she didn't know quite what she was doing but was having a ball. I thought "I like this person". Many years later we had the great fortune to know her and I was right, I really liked her. What a loving genius. It was clear she was exploring right till the end, not at all surprising.
Michael Derning
January 20, 2019
We note, with deep sadness, our wonderful friend Linda Waterfall's passing.
Linda was one of the most interesting, unusual and prolific songwriters and performers anywhere. She must have, over a 40+ year career, completed more than 15 recordings. She was gifted in both classical piano and guitar, and her classical background gave her a foundation to produce a very unusual batch of arrangements that didn't fit at all into a standard folk and pop box. Her sense of vocal arrangement was nothing short of masterful. She also wrote a mess of classical choral pieces, and set the poetry of the masters to music. A musician's musician, you might say, was Linda Waterfall.
I go back 35 years with Linda. We did little tours together, both in the Northwest as well as in New England. She and her late husband Bob would come out East every once in a while, stay at our house, and borrow a car to get to gigs. In return sweetheart Bob, an engineer and gifted handyman, would fix everything wrong with our house and my gear. Linda's vocal arrangements are on three of my recordings.
Linda battled health challenges over the course of the decades. She also, in the midst of them, was able to rise up with her songs and her life joy to drink in the wonderment of it all in an infectious way that I will always cherish. She laughed from a deeper place than anyone I know.
We were going to do some gigs together in November 2016, which did not happen because of the first signs of the return of her cancer. My last time with Linda was in June 2018. I flew to Seattle to have her do background vocals on my new CD (June 1, 2019 is the release date). Despite the obstacles she faced, Linda rose up to do splendid work.
The world is a duller and darker place for the lack of Linda Waterfall. Fly, Linda, fly! Dean Stevens
Dean Stevens
January 18, 2019
Playing piano at Maura and Dales wedding
Maura Griggs
January 18, 2019
Linda playing guitar at our wedding, 7/1989
Maura Griggs
January 16, 2019
Linda Waterfall and Bob Searle at their cabin in Forks, Washington, June, 2006. Tina Blade and I were so very lucky to spend time with them!
Marc Hoffman
January 16, 2019
I met Linda Waterfall years ago when my late husband Steve Williams was terribly ill. Linda was one of a number of musicians (including Bob Bost, Alicia Healey, and Larry Murante) who came to Steve's hospital room and introduced a shred of normalcy into that chaotic time. I will never forget her musical gifts to us. As Linda became a friend, she and Bob and I enjoyed movies, Indian dinners and competitive Pictionary games at her home - all woven around her dilemmas of a serious ankle fracture, and of course, her cancer and the death of her beloved husband. Linda was a force of nature: funny, extremely smart, always inquisitive, and very generous. She died as she lived: on her own terms. Rest, Linda Waterfall.
Linda Gromko, MD
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