In loving memory of Linda Lee Schill, who went to meet her Jesus on March 15th, 2018.
Linda was born on October 16, 1957 in Woodbury, NJ to David Lee Lemke and Charlotte Elizabeth (Pratt) Lemke.
Linda graduated from Paulsboro High School in Paulsboro, NJ. She later attended Gloucester County College where she studied computers and circuitry. However, her real passion was to further her knowledge and become more proficient in cake decorating and floral design. She completed her course work in Floral Design I & II at the Burlington County Institute of Technology in Mt. Holly, NJ.
She pursued her education in cake decorating by accomplishing the Wilton Cake Decorating Courses I, II, III, and IV in Voorhees, NJ. Her Master Course and Gum Paste Course was completed in Chicago, Il at the Wilton Cake Decorating Institute. Her final pursuit was to attend the International School of Confectionary Art in Gaithersburg, MD where she mastered the Petit Fours Course.
Linda had quite a variety of professional experiences. She was an Inspector at Logan Circuits and Etched Circuits, where she would review and repair single and double-sided circuit boards at all inspection stages.
Later, Linda became a Microcircuit Specialist at the GE/ RCA/ Martin Marietta Plant in Moorestown, NJ. She learned to use various precision instruments to accomplish her inspections of circuit boards and machinery, in direct support of the military.
While she was proficient as an inspector, she realized her real passion was to pursue a career in both cake decorating and floral design.
In keeping with what she thoroughly enjoyed, Linda began working at the Super Fresh Bakery which allowed her to hone her skills as a cake decorator, and be creative, all while “working”.
She also worked at Edible Arrangements where she used fruit, chocolate and cheese to make delicious bouquets that could be eaten!
She was employed at the Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist, directly responsible for the billing department, inventory control, selecting and arranging customer orders, then packing and shipping the orders. She thoroughly enjoyed her work.
Linda later worked as a Reservationist, Dispatcher, and Chauffeur at such companies as AMR Transportation, ETSI Transportation, and especially Blue Knight Limousine and Sedan Service. Blue Knight was special to her because that is where she met Dudley. He was coming in for a job interview and she was on the interview committee. Not only did he get the job, but he drove his way right into her heart.
Linda knew she had met the love of her life and her best friend. They were married on August 16, 2002. They lived in Virginia for the first few years of marriage, but she was never far from her family. “Aunt Lin” would have her nieces and nephews down for extended visits in the summertime. She has always been such an integral part of the lives of her family. Dudley had no idea how much his world was going to expand when he married into the Lemke family.
One of Linda’s most enduring qualities was her ability to make others feel loved and welcomed. Her nieces even told of friend’s going off to college in Virginia, and Linda and Dudley took them into their home so they could pursue their schooling.
Interesting facts about Linda: she enjoyed all things PURPLE. A couple of her favorite songs were “The Amazing Grace Medley” by Celtic Woman, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics. She had various hobbies that she enjoyed like crocheting, crafting, cooking, GEO caching, and traveling. However, the hobby that filled her heart the most was the volunteer work she did for Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado. She not only worked on the administration parts (like background checks, reference checks, and vet checks), she also worked in assisting with transports and fostering. It was through the fostering process that she met her constant companion, Mojo. They were positively made for each other.
Another very important part of Linda was her faith. She was a member of Potter’s Hands Baptist Church for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She served in a variety of ways, always with a heart to help wherever and whenever she could. She loved to share her favorite verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” They are a small but very close-knit church, their own little unique family, and Linda was part of the very heart of them. While we have tears of sadness and sorrow for now, deep inside, we rejoice with and for her, knowing she is now free of pain, able to rejoice and meet The One who loves her most.
On March 14, 2009 Linda and Dudley moved out to Colorado Springs to be with his brother, Karl. By March 21, 2009, Linda had developed an infection in her heel and was hospitalized. Little did we know the heartache and pain that would follow. The consistent rise and fall of her health led to many hospitalizations, surgeries and constant, unrelenting pain. In January 2018 Linda was diagnosed with ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It progressed much faster than anyone expected, yet she kept her sense of humor. This is not said for pity or to be dismal at all, because what those closest to her have had the privilege to witness is her ability to remain loving, kind, always concerned for others, always ready with a word of encouragement, and a smile, even through her immense pain. What could have made some people bitter or angry made Linda hopeful, positive and more compassionate, even up to the last few weeks before her passing.
Linda would have wanted to thank many of her caregivers personally; however, we would like to do that for her. While she still remained at home, she had an awesome CNA, Sarah Flores, and two incredible PCW’s, Christina Kirk and Winnie Travis. Because of their compassionate assistance, Linda was able to stay in her own home for a longer time, which was very important to both her and Dudley. Once she was transported to the Pikes Peak Care Center, she met some other pretty amazing health care providers like her nurses Ryane, Donna, Darla, “Red”, and her Social Worker, Shannon. She had many CNAs that were wonderful for meeting her daily needs and we do not want to overlook the care they gave as well. They each told us how much they loved Linda, and what a privilege it was to care for her. We cannot forget Laura who tenderly and compassionately tended to not only Linda but Dudley as well in her final hours: Laura, we were so grateful for your kindness and honesty. As the time approached, thinking there were still some months remaining, Linda made the choice to pursue Hospice care. The team of the Interim Hospice was exactly who were needed under the circumstances. Sue and Ellen, in the meeting with Linda, when the tough decisions were having to be made… your tender hearts shone through all the ‘official business’ that was taking place. Ellen, the way you so gently cared for her as her admissions nurse was such a welcome relief, as her pain was becoming overwhelming. Dr. McLean, oh that she could have been under your most thorough expertise upon arrival. You came in very professionally, as one would expect, yet bigger than life was your heart on your sleeve. You quickly established a treatment plan and set the wheels turning. We will not soon forget how you listened to Linda and Dudley and promised her better pain control and some relief. You knew right away how much Linda needed Paige to access her wounds, and ensured Paige came. Paige your proficiency came highly recommended and we want to thank you for your planned part in Linda’s wound care. We are sure you would have made a significant difference to Linda. Whitney, when Dr. McLean explained to Linda that she would get a Case Manager Nurse, and explained your personality, without hesitation, both Linda and Dudley chose you. Though your time with her was brief, thank you for contributing to her final care. Lastly, we want to thank Jenny, the nurse who came just after Linda had passed. You were such a comfort and strength when the pain was so raw. You were so respectful of the situation and gave such grace and comfort to us. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.
Dudley had already begun the process of researching mortuaries, thinking this was going to be “pre-planning”, and had an appointment the following week. However, as we do not control breath and life, it turned out we needed help immediately. Thankfully, he had already decided on Return to Nature Funeral Home. We called and they came very quickly. Jon was able to come in, explain to us the steps necessary, then respectfully tend to our beloved Linda. Later, in a meeting, he led us carefully and delicately through the entire process. Their kindness and compassion prevailed over all else! Their services are absolutely second to none and we appreciate them tremendously.
Our dear Linda will be deeply missed by her husband, Dudley B. Schill of Colorado Springs, her brothers Mark Lemke and Gene Lemke, both of Bridgeport, NJ, her nephews Joseph Chapes Jr., Markie Lemke and David Chapes, and her nieces Karen Langjahr and Katie Wolfe, as well as other family and friends.
Both her parents, David Lee Lemke, and her mother, Charlotte Elizabeth (Pratt) Lemke, as well as her sister Elizabeth Susan Chapes predeceased Linda.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held in Linda’s honor for her family and friends at the Woodmoor Barn Community Center, 1691 Woodmoor Dr, Monument, CO, 80132, on Thursday, March 22nd at 2p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation, in memory of Linda and a cause to which she was very connected, to the Dalmatian Rescue of Colorado. Go to the home page dalmatianrescueco.org.
Services are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home, Colorado Springs, Colorado www.returntonaturecolorado.com