Linda Rickel passed away June 25th, 2018, in the arms of her loving husband Dwight. Linda and Dwight were enjoying their 55th year of marriage, which produced two wonderful children, Erika and Aaron. She also leaves behind her beloved son-in law Daniel, daughter-in law Suzie, 3 grandchildren, Carmen, Simone and Aiden, brothers David and Scotty, sister-in-law Elaine, and numerous friends.
Linda was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where she met her husband Dwight. Together they spent time in Tucson, Arizona, and Durham North Carolina before eventually settling in Los Alamos for the past 40 years. Over the course of Dwight’s career at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Linda had the chance to also live for short spells in such exotic places such as Australia and France.
Linda started her career as a legal secretary and worked several years for a prestigious law firm in Tucson for Stanley Feldman, who became an Arizona Supreme Court Justice. In Durham, she worked as an administrative assistant to a well-known cardiac surgeon at Duke University Hospital. In Los Alamos, she was widely known as the appointment secretary and office manager for the psychologist Daniel Steele. All through her employment career, she was highly regarded and appreciated by her employers.
Linda suffered from an autoimmune disease that required her to have a liver transplant in 1987. She was one of the first 100 patients to ever receive a liver transplant at the UCLA Liver Transplant Center, which gave her a second chance at life. She was able to live a completely normal life after the transplant, but had a number of medical crises over the years, which she bravely overcame. Her optimism certainly contributed to her 31-year post transplant survival, but unfortunately, as result of the required medications, she sustained kidney damage, which eventually led to her death.
She will be remembered as an intelligent and fun loving lady who had an uncanny ability to solve any crossword clue and a preternatural patience to put together the most complicated of jigsaw puzzle. All that knew her will sorely miss her kindness, generosity and willingness to listen to any problem both big and small.
She was a 40-year member of the First Baptist Church of Los Alamos. A devout Christian, she tithed generously, volunteered regularly, and rarely missed a Sunday service. Her faith was a constant source of strength that she drew from to help buoy her spirits and others. And even at her darkest moments, she never wavered in her faith, reminding us all that she knew that Heaven was waiting for her on the other side.
Memorial services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Los Alamos on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 10:30 AM. There will be a reception at the conclusion of the service. The family of Linda Rickel has entrusted the care of their loved one to the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Española Valley.