Stella E. Linenko, age 97

Stella E. Linenko

    In honor of our mom, we are submitting her requested obituary she had prepared prior to her death:
    Stella was born Sept. 3, 1918, in Topbar, S.D., to Herbert and Jane (Hayes) Durston, immigrants from England, in 1908. She had one brother and five sisters.
    At an early age, the family moved to Dowling on a large farm. She attended school in a one room school house with all eight grades, walking four miles and later by horseback, seven miles sometimes in freezing temperatures and deep snow. She worked around the family farm and in 1935 worked at a ranch doing housework and helped cook for the ranch hands where she met the “Love of her life,” her future husband, Garry.
    In 1936, her parents sold their farm and moved into Philip. She continued her education at Philip High School staying at the dormitory and graduating in 1938. She married Garry on September 18, 1938.
    After the declaration of World War II, they decided to leave in March 1942 and head west. Garry got work at the Puget Sound Shipbuilding and Repair. They loved the area and especially his government job. In 1943, their first daughter, Charlotte, was born. Two years later in 1945, their daughter, Sharon, arrived. Their third daughter, Charlene, was born in 1950. They were established and rooted to their Washington home which they built themselves on 11 acres. Stella went to work at the Veterans Home near Port Orchard in 1959 as a cook and later a building captain, making her time there 30 years.
    After retiring they traveled in their motor home around the United States and Canada, and took several cruises. Stella went to England to see cousins and their families, and a trip to the Holy Land with a group from the Christian Church.
    Stella was active in many community organizations. She and her husband helped organize the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department along with community neighbors. She was a member of the Grange, the Eagles (60 years), TOPS (25 years) and Bethel Grace Bible Church. She organized and managed a senior citizens band called the “Guys and Gals” who entertained residents at nursing homes and retirement centers for over 20 years. Stella loved gardening, music, dancing and her friends.
    Living at Stafford Suites the last seven years, she created a new family. She loved the activities, the great staff and all the residents.
    She is survived by daughters, Sharon Cain and Charlene Wise; sister, Mary Ann Short, all of Port Orchard; grandchildren, Gary (Melaney) Watson, Jodi (Dean) Kandlik, Jim Wise, Joe Wise, Mike (Kim) Cain, Nanci (Don) Bear; seven great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.     She was preceded in death by her husband, Garry, of 64 years, daughter, Charlotte Watson, sons-in-law, Jerry Cain and Gary Wise, and grandson, Patrick Cain.
    Celebration of life was held at Rill’s Life Tribute Center, Port Orchard, Wash., on Feb. 9, 2016 with Denise Hoyt, RN, officiating.
    Her final resting place is at Sunset Lane Memorial Park in Port Orchard.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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