Linda Brainerd was born on Jan. 5, 1941, in Los Angeles and grew up in Compton, California. She wrote and published a book inspired by those years entitled “Emmy and the Maw of Time, A Girl’s Life from the 40s and 50s.” As a young woman she was a newspaper reporter.
Linda was married to Dennis Gallo but it was not a good match, although his parents were loved and treasured by Linda until the day she died. She kept a photo of Nona and Papa Gallo on her living room wall. Papa (Anthony) Gallo carved Carrara marble sculptures, and Linda had many of them.
When Linda met Wendell Brainerd it was a love match. They married and lived in Santa Barbara, California, where Linda gave birth to their daughter Amy. Among other things of note, Linda sang in the opera Manon in Santa Barbara. In 1991 they moved to Lopez Island, Washington.
She will be remembered on Lopez Island for many things. Linda sang in the community choir and had a wonderful alto voice, though her soprano harmonies gave pleasure to others in church on Sundays. She and her daughter were very active in the Lutheran Church helping with communion, as well as many other tasks. Linda baked the blackberry pies sold at the Galley restaurant for years, and they were a favorite in the community and to visitors. Linda was a spinner and a knitter. She wrote fiction and memoir, and she was also a very gifted poet. She liked to tap dance. She took her duties bringing food weekly to Lopez Fresh from the grocery very seriously.
Linda’s open heart, bright smile, and keen mind will be sorely missed. She breathed her last in the very early hours of Oct. 9, 2018, in the Whatcom Hospice in Bellingham, Washington. She is survived by her daughter Amy Brainerd. Linda’s ashes will be laid to rest next to Wendell’s in the Lopez Union Cemetery. The remembrance and celebration of her life was held Nov. 3, 2018, at 2 p.m. at Center Church. There is a Memorial Fund honoring Linda at the Lutheran Church of the San Juans.