Sunday, October 30, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Burial will follow at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Linda Marklin would agree that she was an extraordinary woman to know and love. She was passionate and driven, the sort of person who gave everything her all, and her devotion to her family was unmatched. Linda considered being a wife and mother to be both her highest calling and her richest reward, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother later in life. Although she accomplished so much of which to be proud, she was a modest and humble woman who lived to serve those around her. In everything she did she was an inspiration to all who were within her reach. Deeply loved, Linda will never be forgotten.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were deeply entrenched in the fight for the preservation of the freedoms we still enjoy today. It was the days of WWII when loved ones gathered around radios awaiting the latest news from the front lines while rationing became a way of life. Amidst this eventful time, Frederick and Opal (Confer) Ullrich were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as January dawned in 1945 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Linda Kay drew her first breath on January 25th. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, she was five years younger than her brother, John.
In many ways Linda was a typical young girl of her generation. Her father supported his family as a draftsman, although he died from a massive heart attack when Linda was just a young girl of 12. She attended local schools including Loy Norrix High School. Because her mother didn’t drive, Linda was often driving her around, and she also volunteered at the Red Cross. She was involved in her church camp from the time she was in middle school, and she also liked going to the local carnival.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Linda’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Gary Marklin, and they were classmates in the same grade. Smitten, Linda followed him playing football and running track, and she became part of the first graduating class in 1963. Deeply in love, the sweethearts were married in October of 1962 at Bethany Reformed Church. With limited resources, the newlyweds didn’t take a honeymoon, but they were soon delighted to become parents to their daughter, Rebecca. With a shared love for the outdoors, Linda and Gary enjoyed camping - even taking their six month old daughter camping. Gary was also an amazing water skier, and he had a boat before he even had a car! They could often be found camping at Yankee Springs, and Linda drove the boat while Gary skied on Gun Lake.
Hardworking and successful, Linda spent her 48 year career at Consumers Energy. She started off in their call center, she then supervised the call center, and over the years she did just about everything there. Linda followed the rules by the book, accepted no excuses, and believed in showing up and doing your job. At the same time, she had a soft side for workers with anything family oriented and was flexible with their hours for the benefit of family. Linda was always a firm believer in family first and foremost.
From the moment she became a mother Linda fully immersed herself in this role. Whatever Becky did, she was right there to support her. When Becky played softball, Linda managed several of the Milwood Little League teams. There were also plenty of family camping trips, and they later bought a cottage in Lake City where several of their friends also had places. Nearly every weekend, Linda was teaching people how to ski on Sapphire Lake near Cadillac. Everything she did centered on family whether they were boating, snowmobiling, or riding motorcycles. Gary had his own airplane, and Linda was his navigator. It was not uncommon for them to head to a small airport to get ice cream or see some other fun sites. Linda and Gary both started bow shooting, and then Becky got involved as well. No matter what they were doing, Linda and her family were all in.
Later on, Linda was thrilled to become a grandmother, and she was an active part of her granddaughters lives as well. She was there for all of their activities like horse shows, marching/concert band performances, cheerleading, and so much more. She loved following Kalamazoo Christian and Gobles High Schools. Even when dealing with chemotherapy for the past 11 years, Linda was there to support them. Linda was always the one to organize events including everything that went on up at the cottage and events for the “Duck Point social club.” After retiring, Linda was still organizing events for the retirees. She was an amazing cook who was known for her tacos as they were loved by everyone. Up North there were amazing meals with friends, great steaks on the grill, and all the sides, too. Within her community, Linda was on the easement board for Pine Grove Township, and she volunteered with the Kalamazoo Home Builders Association for years. Over the years she also generously devoted blood to the American Red Cross.
With a desire to be closer to her daughter, Linda moved in across from Becky in Gobles where she also loved that small town feel. She never missed the Memorial Day parades. As she slowed down Linda got into reading, especially romance novels of all kinds as well as those from Nora Roberts. She was a country music and George Strait fan, and when she was able she took annual trips to Las Vegas for the National Rodeo. Linda also loved to play the slots, but only $20.
Someone who was truly beautiful on the inside and out, Linda Marklin was a gift to the world around her. As someone who battled both breast cancer and then ovarian cancer, she was a fighter filled with strength and courage that were truly unmatched. Linda was all about family whether her own or the family of others, and she was deeply devoted to sharing love with everyone she met. Without an unkind word to say about anyone, she was the sort of person everyone simply loved. Although she will be forever missed, Linda leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever treasure.
Linda Kay Marklin, of Gobles, formerly of Kalamazoo, went to be with the Lord on October 25, 2016, in Kalamazoo. Linda’s family includes her daughter, Rebecca (Ron) Wiessner; granddaughters: Kristen and Cari Wiessner; Aunt Marcia Chronkhite; nieces: Kathy Ullrich and Amy (Ian) Mitchell; nephew, Fred (Carolyn) Ullrich; and several great nieces and nephews and several cousins. Linda was preceded in death by her husband, Gary; parents: Frederick Ullrich and Opal (Ullrich) Prusick; and brother, John. Visit with family and friends on Sunday from 6-8 p.m. at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where services will be held Monday at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Mt. EverRest Cemetery. Please visit Linda’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to West Michigan Cancer Center or American Red Cross.