ST. ALBANS — Linda H. O’Connell, 78 ,of Montgomery Ctr., passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Linda was born on Sept. 14, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Thomas and Helen (Iversen) Doughten. The family moved to Long Island, N.Y. where Linda attended Baldwin High School and later, the University of Vermont and a secretarial school in New York City.
Linda was popular and stylish in her youth, as well as athletic. She excelled at many things, from waterskiing and horseback riding, to oil painting, piano, and dancing. She met Tom O’Connell at UVM and they were married in July 1958. They had four children in a space of five years, but this didn’t deter Linda from enjoying her beloved activities, such as skiing, swimming, and even fox hunting.
The family moved many times, settling in northern Vermont in the 1970s.
Linda developed her talents further and renovated several homes and even turned her interest to carpentry, creating fantastic built-in bookshelves from floor to ceiling in numerous rooms. More and more bookshelves were always needed as she had a great love of the classics and collected books of all types and subjects.
Linda worked for various employers over the next decades, including Jay Peak, Inc., The Montgomery Schoolhouse, and United Aerospace Metals. She had a truly great work ethic and professional manner, which she will always be remembered for.
Life in northern Vermont meant new forms of fun, and Linda joined a women’s softball league and made many friends during those years. She also loved quietly canoeing on the secret ponds and stunningly beautiful rivers in the area.
There is no doubt that Linda was quirky, and many people will remember her with a chuckle. She nearly always wore sunglasses, carried a cup of coffee in a Mason jar, and wrote fake million dollar checks. She had a big heart and generous nature, always helping the underdog and giving to animal welfare and children’s charities.
Linda is predeceased by two of her children, Marcy Jane O’Connell and Daniel Thomas O’Connell; she is survived by her daughters, Lauren Jean O’Connell and Susan Elizabeth (O’Connell) Lamont, her grandson William Harrington, her friend and companion, Ronald Howard, her sister, Louise and brother-in-law, Jack McQuade, her many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as friends.
Interment will be at St. Isidore’s Catholic Cemetery in Montgomery Center in the spring at the family’s convenience. Condolences may be sent through www.spearsfuneralhome.com.