Swan Funeral Home

1224 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT


Linda E. Bireley

December 9, 1949November 8, 2019

Linda Bireley, of Waterford, and formerly of Lyme, passed away on November 8, 2019, after a prolonged battle with illness.

Linda was born on December 9, 1949, the daughter of Willis and Eleanor Eberhardt, in our nation's capital, Washington, DC, and was raised in Virginia. Her folks enjoyed salt water fishing, and it was the activity centered around her weekends and summers on the water that spurred her interest in the environment and science. Linda’s first degree was in biological sciences from the University of Connecticut. She followed that degree with a master’s degree in marine microbiology and then a doctorate degree in biological oceanography.

Linda was an EMT with Lyme Ambulance for 28 years. She stepped up twice as Crew Coordinator (as the Chief of Service was then called), from 1992-1994, and again for the year 2003-2004. When she retired as a responder, she continued to provide quality control by reviewing run charts. She was known in Lyme as an outstanding public servant, serving the Town of Lyme as Open Space Coordinator, and doing substantial trail work for the Lyme Land Conservation Trust. Linda created a Power Point presentation on the history of Lyme Ambulance Association for the 25th anniversary. She also wrote a series of articles for the newsletter describing in detail, every stage of our assistance to a patient, from our tone-out from Valley Shore to arrival and transfer at the ER. Linda’s volunteerism has brought her into contact with many people in Lyme. She had twice served as co-coordinator for the Lyme Ambulance Association; she had written and obtained grants for financing the repair of the Moulson’s pond fish ladder, and for obtaining automatic external defibrillators for the Ambulance Association; she was past Vice President of the Land Trust and Stewardship Committee chair. Linda also coordinated the maintenance and monitoring of Lyme’s three fish ladders. Linda’s belief was that “our sense of well-being has so much to do with our sense of place” was reflected in her volunteer activities. We are fortunate to have someone like Linda to serve us in many positive ways. The genuine concern and truly capable ways of Linda made Lyme a better place to live--a place where the needs of the community and the environment are in healthy balance.

Linda is survived by her husband Ed Bireley of Waterford, and her brother Dale Eberhardt of Colorado Springs, CO.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019, from 5:30-7:30pm at the Lyme Volunteer Fire Department, Route 156, Lyme. Swan Funeral Home, Old Saybrook is handling arrangements.


  • Calling Hours Friday, November 15, 2019


Linda E. Bireley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Abigail Archer

November 17, 2019

Dear Bireley Family,

My condolences on the passing of Linda. I did not know her but I benefited from her service to the American Fisheries Society Estuaries Section. Linda served as President from 2001-2002 and I served as President in 2013-2015. I had the honor of compiling and sharing our group's history and learned about Linda's contributions then. Also - the woman who got me involved in American Fisheries Society was herself recruited by Linda! My involvement with AFS has helped my career and has given me joy. Not once did it occur to me that women were not welcome in leadership positions in AFS and that is because I had great role models even though I only knew some of them as names on paper.

Watching river herring swim through fish ladders is one of my favorite things to do and I'm so glad that Linda will have a fish ladder named for her.
Abigail Archer