Linda J. Lyman

LymanLinda J. Lyman, 87, on January 8, 2022, peacefully, at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine. Linda was born on September 25, 1934, in Downers Grove, Ill., and lived in various places during the course of her life, including Greater Chicago, Ill.; California; Philadelphia, Pa.; Washington State; Ohio; and Maine.

A lifelong Quaker, Linda was a courageous, independent, pioneering, and compassionate woman who touched the lives of many people and animals. She was a peaceful changemaker; an observant and loving friend and guide; and a calm, steadfast force for good, who formed deep and lasting friendships with people across the United States and overseas through her professional work, volunteer work, and advocacy.

In the late 1980s, Linda was a guest in residence at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center outside of Philadelphia. She traveled to England as part of her work for Pendle Hill.

Linda met Marty Walton in 1989 and was a devoted partner for more than 30 years, including caring for Marty up to the time of Marty’s death in 2020. Together, she and Marty participated in Bellingham (Wash.) and Southern Maine Meetings and were involved with numerous Quaker groups, causes, and gatherings. In recent years, Linda was active in the Sanford Unitarian Universalist Church community.

Linda and Marty lived in Springvale, Maine, since 2013. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2013, they lived in Kennebunk, Maine, where Linda was an active member of the community. She served on various town committees and was the driving force on “the dog committee” that created a respectful, cooperative, and ongoing relationship between dog owners, beachgoers, and homeowners. She served on conservation committees to maintain safe water quality and protection of natural habitats.

Linda was a family therapist. She also worked with individuals with disabilities, fondly recalling taking patients on therapeutic trips to her beloved Boundary Waters in Minnesota.

In the mid-1990s, Linda and Marty started the Storehouse Collection of Memories, a business devoted to the creation of personalized life story books. A skilled and attentive listener, Linda interviewed subjects and their family members to learn not only facts, but stories that made the individual unique. Through this work, Linda became involved in the Association of Personal Historians, through which she and Marty developed strong relationships across the globe.

Linda was an advocate for causes that advanced the rights of all to die with dignity. Earlier in her career, she worked with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying and a pioneer in understanding the five stages of grief. As recently as 2019, Linda led a workshop in Sanford, Maine, on the subject of preparing for the death of a loved one.

Linda loved to hike, kayak, and canoe, and deeply valued being in the natural world. Her hikes with Marty in the Cascade Range in Washington State were among her happiest memories. Linda made daily rounds checking her bird feeders and caring for neighborhood wild creatures. Her love affair with the natural world was lifelong. She said that being with animals and in the natural world was often the most comfortable place to be.

Linda was predeceased by her partner of 30 years, Marty Walton, and by her brothers, John Lyman and Robert Lyman. She is survived by four nieces, three nephews, three great-nieces, two great-nephews, and one great-great-niece.

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