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1956 - 2019

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Linell Karen Walker, on July 2, 2019. Linell was born in Scotia in 1956 to Robert and Pearl Kitson. She grew up in Fortuna on "the hill" with many childhood friends roaming the open land looking for daily adventures in the neighborhood. In 1974, she graduated from Fortuna High School with honors. After graduation, she left Fortuna to explore the world. Linell's adventurous spirit took her to Europe and then Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. She then went to business school and later worked in medical records in the Los Angeles Area.
In 1979, Linell became a mother. This role defined her life in so many ways. She devoted her life to raising her children and making sure they experienced life to its fullest. Linell was an amazing, selfless, and loving mother and treasured nothing more than raising her two children. During their elementary years, she was room mother for each of their classes, organized school-wide events, and field trips, and was a daily presence in their classrooms. Linell took her children on many vacations, using what little money she had to make every moment special.
In 1993, Linell started working at South Fortuna Elementary School as the School Secretary. She absolutely loved her career and it was a big part of her identity. She truly thrived in this role. She loved children and loved helping families. For twenty-seven years, each child at South Fortuna Elementary School was greeted by Linell's genuine smile. Her laugh could often be heard echoing through the hallways. The love she showered on her co-workers, students, and their families were endless. If someone needed anything, she was there to provide it, whether it be a hug, love, support or a listening ear. It was well known that if there was a problem, Linell would fix it, and in record time too.
In October of 2013, Linell became a grandmother to Rio. She loved the role of grandmother and relished spending time and creating memories with her precious grandsons. Even while undergoing treatment and bravely fighting her illness, she continued to log many miles on Highway One between Fortuna and Santa Cruz to ensure that not too much time passed between visits. Linell considered herself blessed to meet her second grandson, Noe in March of 2018.
In April of 2016, Linell was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Colon Cancer. She underwent surgery right away and started chemotherapy. Unfortunately, cancer returned and Linell was told that she would have to undergo a more intensive chemotherapy regimen. She faced that battle like she did all other obstacles in her life, i.e. with determination, strength, faith in the Lord, and a spirit that would not be broken despite her circumstances.
In December of 2017, she moved down to Roseville to be closer to her children and receive treatment from UCSF and Sutter Cancer Center. The treatment took so much out of her but she still went on her daily walks and found reasons to laugh each day. Her loving spirit and ability to find humor in the most devastating circumstances was present until the end. She trusted the Lord with all her heart.
Linell was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Pearl Kitson. She is survived by her children, Jennifer (Keegan) Fregeau of Roseville, CA and Steve Walker (Davina) of Santa Cruz, CA and grandsons, Rio and Noe Walker, brother Steve Kitson (Susan) of Truckee, niece Sarah Carpenter (Ben), and nephew Brett Kitson and numerous friends.
Friends and Family are invited to attend a Celebration of Life in Fortuna in the fall. Date, time, and location to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Blackberry Creek Animal Sanctuary at blackberrycreek.org or Neighborhood Ministries at nmphx.com
Published in Eureka Times-Standard on July 25, 2019
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