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Linda Lee Wirkner, 70, passed away Tuesday, March 22, 2016, surrounded by loved ones after a courageous five-year battle with cancer.
Linda was born April 15, 1945, in New Brighton, Pa. She was the daughter of Frank Philip and the late Edith Eleanor Matotek. Linda graduated with a teaching degree from Slippery Rock University. She had lived on the Peninsula since 1969, and in Yorktown since 1974, except for seven enjoyable years overseas in Libya and Indonesia, which included extensive traveling in Europe and Asia.
She enjoyed teaching second grade in Tripoli, Libya, at the Oil Company School. Later in Indonesia, she began her writing career. She was the author of many young adult books and magazine articles. In addition, she served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Adviser for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) for many years. She also taught and did editing for the Institute of Children’s Literature.
In addition to her father, Linda is survived by her husband of 47 years, Jim Wirkner; son, Michael, of Key West; daughter, Michelle (Julia) of Pennsylvania; two sisters, Patricia (Lou) Operhall of Richmond and Joanne (Ron) Dickie of Texas; two nephews, Joseph (Ana) Operhall of Pennsylvania and John Wirkner of California; two nieces, Jenna Wirkner of California and Taylor Dickie of Texas; and great-nephew and great-niece, Benjamin and Frida Operhall. In addition to her mothe,r she was preceded in death by her brother Raymond Matotek and a niece, Tracey Operhall.
The family would like to thank Dr. Kannarkat and the staff at Riverside Cancer Center for their great service and care over the past five years as well as the Riverside Hospice staff.
A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Amory Funeral Home, Yorktown. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, March 28, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Riverside Hospice 12420 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606.
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