Linda Garcia Kinzel obituary
Gwendolyn Johnson was born on August 28, 1950 at King County Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Gwen’s birth mother Mary was from Monroe, Louisiana and her birth father was unknown. Shortly after birth, Gwen was placed with a foster family in Seattle where she remained for the first three years of her life. We had the opportunity to meet and get to know the family 45 years later. There was no question where Gwen received her big heart, compassion and empathy that was the essence of her life.
In July of 1953 Gwen was placed with Daniel and Nicholasa Garcia along with their sons Robert, Dan Jr. and David in Wapato, Washington. In March of 1954 she was adopted and became Linda Garcia. Linda grew up in Wapato and later Toppenish. She now had an extended family and was especially fond of her maternal grandparents and the Espinoza aunts and uncles. Linda had an adventurous childhood including climbing a water tower that required police/fire and rescue. At age 17 she graduated from high school and moved on to attend the University of Washington. Thankfully a new concept called student loans allowed her to complete a degree in Psychology. At the “U of Dub” she met lifetime friends Louise and Mitsu and experienced an intellectual and cultural awakening.
After graduation, Linda went to work for DSHS Employment Security, and a new group of people became part of her circle. Later she transferred to Child Protective Services for the next 12 years. She was a very good social worker and highly regarded by her associates, police, and court system. Unfortunately, during this time her mother Nico’s health declined and she spent several years helping and caring for her until she passed away in January 1989. Linda often reminisced fondly of this time and the lasting legacy of her mother’s resourcefulness and amazing cooking. In 1990 Linda experienced a paradigm shift much to the surprise and some trepidation of her friends. She met her future husband Bill and became a stepmother to Bill Jr., Nicholas, Amanda and later grandson Cameron. Linda changed her career path with DSHS from CPS to Adult Services; they bought a home that remains with many holiday memories and 30 years of life experiences. She retired from DSHS in 2004 after 30 years, maintaining contact with many friends she made during that time.
Linda started camping designing with tents soon to evolve into a motor home. She loved basketball, attending Sonics games and watching the NBA. She also learned to play golf and attended the final 3 days of the 1998 PGA championship at Sahalee watching her favorite, Tiger Woods. Linda loved to travel. She really felt at home in New Orleans and the Bahamas. She also enjoyed a honeymoon cruise to Mexico, and several trips to Hawaii. Linda’s health started to suffer in 2010. First with a bout of cancer that was eradicated with surgery. A year later another bout of cancer was taken care of with surgery and radiation, unfortunately a side effect left her with severe lymphocele. In 2014 she developed a severe infection from the 2010 surgery that left her in Harbor View for 45 days. Remarkably she returned home wounded but not giving up.
2020 came along and all the challenges took its toll. Linda spent most of the year either in the hospital or a nursing home. She went into the hospital for the last time on November 5th and remained there until January 17, 2021 when she was moved to Cottage in the Meadow; she could finally have visitors. Linda passed away January 18th. Bill and her close lifelong friends Arnold and Norma, Lori and Keith and Judy said goodbye.
There will not be a funeral or memorial service by her request.