OBITUARY

Linda Lee Carlston

November 8, 1960January 11, 2021

Funeral services for Linda Lee Carlston will be held Monday, January 18, at 1 p.m. at Chapel Hill Funeral Home across from Saks Elementary School. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. The service will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person, starting at 12:55 pm. For livestreaming, please visit (Anniston) Chapel Hill Funeral Home and Crematory on Facebook. Linda was a wife, mother, friend, civil servant and so much more. To meet her was to instantly become a friend and her friends were family. She saw the best in everyone. Her uncommon emotional intelligence made her a rock for many. She was love personified, and she is deeply missed. She dedicated her life to service. First as a legal secretary for Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, then as a U.S. Army civilian. She began her time with the Army at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and later served at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and Anniston Army Depot, where she retired as the deputy director of the Anniston Contracting Office. Throughout her career, Linda collected accolades for her sterling work performance, fundraising skills and ethical leadership. A proponent of knowledge, she earned her master’s degree in business administration and encouraged her children to always strive for knowledge and truth. She championed and taught classes to empower small businesses in the community to work with the government. She believed in learning as a lifelong pursuit. An avid gardener, her home is surrounded by and filled with the life she tended. Everything she did, from work to family to time with friends, she did with her whole heart. She had endless energy to experiment, explore and take risks. She gave us the encouragement we needed to try new challenges. She provided that all-important bolstering vote of confidence from someone classier, smarter and sassier than ourselves. Linda’s warmth and vibrance, from the way her eyes and smile lit up a room to her effervescent laugh, can’t be captured in this simple text. But, it resides still in the hearts of every individual who knew and loved her. She made all of us better, more creative, more authentic versions of ourselves and she had endless patience and good humor to weather the chaos of the creativity unfolding around her. Linda’s mortal presence may have departed January 11, but she lives on in those she left behind. Her life is celebrated by her adoring husband, Major Donald B. Carlston (retired), children Lindsay and Colin Dunahee, parents Michael Erickson, Karen Schlicht and Joyce Erickson, sisters Mary Hemenway and Teresa Duncan, brother Paul Schlicht, cousins Tina and Abbey Williams, niece Kloie and scores of worthy people who knew the world was a better place with her in it. Flowers will be accepted, but the family also asks friends to consider donations to Coosa Riverkeepers and Tigers for Tomorrow. Linda was a Believer, with a capital ‘B.’ She believed in every member of our family and every individual – whether she had met them or not. Here are some of the core beliefs she held dear: She believed pains and challenges of life were guideposts to empathy and kindness – the more one suffers, the more one can recognize the suffering of others. She believed in the instructional value of failure. Linda taught us to recognize silver linings, teachable moments and opportunities to rally where others may have seen disappointment. She believed in being Classy, not gaudy and definitely not snobby. She spoke softly, but with great precision. She had impeccable taste – every outfit carefully selected to meet the tone and significance of the day. She had perfect, copperplate handwriting and unassailably good manners. Linda believed in hard work and professional excellence. She wrangled details without losing sight of the big picture and made sure she was addressing the real issues, meeting the real needs. She believed in personal development, especially if it was uncomfortable. She chose unusual plants for her garden. She unflinchingly monitored her own performance. She took criticism as a call to improvement and took nothing about herself, or her skills, for granted. She believed in relationships and morale. Her office Halloween parties are still legendary. She believed in the basic, essential goodness of people. She truly saw the best in everyone and, more often than not, people just didn’t see any reason to disappoint her. It didn’t matter if they were a commander, a janitor or a felon. The mere opinion of Linda Carlston was enough to ensure you put your best foot forward. She believed gardening couldn’t cure depression, but a giant seed shopping spree and a good ‘mater sandwich could buy a few good hours off. She believed in the story of Stone Soup, which is a fable I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. She believed in loving and accepting everyone for who they were. She believed in heartwarming traditions. Four generations of Christmas ornaments grace the family tree and every year stories are added, like a Viking saga. One of our favorite examples is the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” ornament she painted by hand, only to have it disappear and reemerge, miraculously unscathed, several years later under the wood pile in the back yard. She believed in experiments in the kitchen, garden and life. Recipes were mere suggestions and she surely had a can of something that would perk this right up. Linda believed the best jokes make your kids roll their eyes hard enough to freeze that way. She believed that the pizza was done about 5 minutes before it ever actually was. She believed in finding a way to laugh. She believed that least said is soonest mended. She believed in self-care and self-forgiveness. She believed in box wine served in “Bless your heart” glasses. She believed her yard was a magical place where all life thrived, even if we preferred said life would back off the elderberries, so we could finally have some, please. She believed that Kiwi plants are freeloaders. Linda believed in the rigorous observation of animal rights. She had no time for someone who didn’t provide their animals with the love and care they deserved. She wants you to spay and neuter your pets, fully vaccinate them, feed them good food, bring them in at night, train them properly, buy pet insurance, take them to the vet regularly and just generally take full responsibility for the furry little lives you have chosen to make dependent on you. She believed in science and scientists. Mom encouraged my career in the sciences. She encouraged every crazy ass experiment I ever tried. She delighted in them. She believed in environmental protection. She believed in the work of experts who devote their lives to the fields of climate change, resource conservation, vaccines, biodiversity, medicine, and other essential human advancements. She believed in acceptance, tolerance, equality and compassion. Mom believed in doing her part and believed, and hoped, everyone else would do theirs. She would want all of us to continue to make her proud.

Services

  • Visitation Service at Chapel HIll Funeral Home

    Monday, January 18, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Monday, January 18, 2021

Memories

Linda Lee Carlston

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Randall Heflin

January 18, 2021

Linda was a kind and considerate lady whom I enjoyed working with over the years. The world needs more folks like her. She will be missed.

Richard Bowyer

January 18, 2021

Don, please accept my heartfelt condolences on Linda's passing. She was a joy to work with, always pleasant, and I will always remember her infectious smile. I pray that you and your entire family can find comfort in the coming weeks and months, but move forward in the knowledge that she will never be forgotten and she had a tremendous influence on those around her.

God Bless you and your family,
Rick and Kelly Bowyer

David Duncan

January 14, 2021

Don there are no appropriate words to fill this void. Linda was an amazing person filled with extraordinary love. She filled the air with a beautiful grace that will be missed. Everything she touched Linda gave life to it. Embrace all the joy she gave to your life. Peace and grace. David and Teresa

Butch Vandiver

January 14, 2021

Don, I am so sorry to hear of Linda’s passing. I hope you find peace in the coming days. Our prayers are with you.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY