Laura Marie Linn
On March 26, 2023, our beloved Laura transitioned from her sacred earthly journey to her next adventure on her spiritual path. Laura was deeply loved and respected by her family and friends and will be greatly missed.
Laura was raised by her loving parents, Henriette and Gardner, in a farming community near St. James, MN with her sister Carol and brother Gerry. The three siblings have shared many stories from those years that kept us envious and laughing. Carol being the eldest was given the responsibility to corral Laura and Gerry into chores, such as clearing cockleburs from the soybeans. Gerry and Laura, being the mischiefs they were, would throw the dirt clumped weeds at each other, running and hiding with the occasional jump in the lake at the end of a row. Surely helping Carol to become the patient sister she is today.
Henriette was a schoolteacher in a one room school house prior to the children. Alongside her farm and household chores she loved taking art classes, painting, and gardening. Gardner was a farmer and idea man who loved inventing and sharing knowledge. He contributed to the development of the Swather, a machine that made harvesting grain easier and cleaner. Gardner also enjoyed reading, hunting and at one time had trucking and corn shelling crews.
At the end of the growing season when the crops were in, the family piled in their station wagon and set out on road trips to visit National Parks, New York City, The Grand Canyon, and relatives in California. Laura and Carol also spent a summer with their aunt in Hawaii, which served as a highlight for their late teen years.
Laura’s adventurous spirit was nurtured by her family. As a youth she enjoyed swimming, fishing, horseback riding and spending time with friends. She participated in 4H and won a blue ribbon at the state fair for her bread making skills. Finding an early love of music, she played baritone in school, city and All State bands. Laura also participated in choir, the school paper, GAA, National Honor Society, plays and more.
Laura attended St. Olaf College with her lifelong friend, Judy (Fastenau) Vickberg. Laura continued her love of music playing baritone with the traveling college band. She loved learning and discussing complex ideas, especially about theology, philosophy, and psychology. Individuals such as Søren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer influenced Laura to work for peace, justice, equality, civil and human rights. Laura graduated with high honors, majoring in Psychology and Religion, later earning her Master’s Degree from Kent School of Social Work at the University of Kentucky, Louisville.
Laura worked for Hennepin County for over 30 years in a variety of settings, including with juvenile offenders, children and families in Child Protection, Family Services/Group Work and Services to Seniors. She was regarded highly in her roles as supervisor, trainer and consultant. Laura’s passion for seeing that children are safe and well cared for guided her work and community activities. Laura played a significant role in the lives of so many children; Nick, Joe and Ben Cavara were three whom she loved dearly.
If Laura was awake she was on the move. Her life outside of work and after retirement was filled with activities that reflected who she was. Her competitiveness shined through with power volleyball and tournament scrabble. Laura used woodworking, painting, and music to express her love for the arts. While her love of the outdoors was clear when she camped, hiked, skied, and went on bike rides with cousin Marge. No matter the activity, however, her biggest joy was sharing it with the ones she loved.
Laura was always aware of her spiritual journey and relished learning from many mentors and disciplines. When she joined Walker Community Methodist Church, Laura felt she had found a spiritual home. Pastor Roger Lynn and Laura became good friends, convinced they were cousins from a few generations back. Laura felt that serving as Lay Leader with Roger was one of the highlights of her life.
Laura and partner Judy spent over 30 years together, sharing children Bryan and Thaddeus, and later their spouses, children, and grandchildren. The children of the family have always loved Laura wholeheartedly because of the wild energy she lived to cultivate in young people. From harebrained schemes to outlandish projects, Laura was always young at heart. Her wisdom and warmth was felt by all and the love she had for her family was only matched by the love her family had for her.
Preceding Laura in death are her parents, Henriette and Gardner Linn, brother in law Eric Enwall, beloved niece Jennifer Grove, Benjamin Cavara, aunts, uncles, cousins and lifelong friends.
Surviving Laura are her partner Judy, step sons Bryan Popham (Debbie), Thaddeus Lesiak (Katy), grandchildren Tana (Cole), Sean and Sage, great grandson Marvin; siblings Carol Enwall (Eric) and Gerry Linn (Kathy); Nieces Marge Brown and family, Sarah Fast and family; Grandniece Harlie and family; grandnephew Blake; Judy Vickberg (Tim) and family; Nicholas and Joseph Cavara; many beloved cousins and life long friends.
A Celebration of Laura’s life will be held in August 5 th at Walker Community Church, 3104 16 th
Avenue South, Minneapolis MN.
Gathering at 11:00am, followed by good food and socializing, which Laura always loved.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either of these organizations, Alzheimer's Association, alz.org , or Margo Hurrie Scholarship to directly aid homeless highly mobile children in Minneapolis Public Schools, https://tinyurl.com/jptvmnsc or an organization of your choice in Laura's name.