Linda Beth Warren leaves a legacy of service to whatever constituency she was called or volunteered to serve. From her first year teaching music at Caddo, Okla., with out-of-date music books supplied as a donation by Henry Glenn, to her recent employment as a 4-H Program Assistant with the Johnston County OSU Extension Office; sharing her knowledge and talents with area 4-H members and other youth of the community Linda Beth was totally committed to those she served.
Linda Beth was born on Jan. 12, 1949, to Albert Marvin and Margaret Elizabeth (Smithey) Russell. She attended and graduated Elk City Schools in 1967 and then attended Murray State College in Tishomingo and completed her Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s of Arts in Art from East Central University. She married the love of her life Larry Warren on May 18, 1973, in Haileyville, Okla., and their marriage was blessed with two children.
She spent 21 years in Yukon, Okla., teaching Gifted and Talented students and coaching their Odyssey of the Mind teams resulted in three trips to the International Odyssey of the Mind competitions. She often said she learned as much from the students as they from her. It was a shared enthusiasm for developing talents and intellect. She had lived in the Tishomingo area for about 15 years and had currently worked at the OSU extension for three years. Linda Beth was also a proud member of the Delta Kappa Gamma, a Teachers Organization.
She loved people and as a result of her love, people loved her. She was quick to forgive and forget when opinions differed and confident in her values and beliefs.
Linda Beth believed that everyone has value and should have the opportunity to pursue their interests and dreams. Rather than being judgmental, she embraced diversity, and lovingly supported her family and friends in their pursuit of their goals.
Linda Beth was fiercely committed to family and friends, always, always interested, supportive, compassionate and loving. Whether it was a hug and kiss, or kick in the pants, she was ready and willing to do her part and more.
She loved her children and husband with absolute love and devoted her life to their needs. She taught her children the life skills necessary for a successful, productive, and happy life; and they returned that love and enjoyed a close relationship through adulthood.
Linda Beth and Larry were the perfect couple. They both liked to go places, Larry likes to drive, Linda Beth liked to read or sleep when on the road. When Linda Beth needed help with one of the projects she loved doing, Larry would help so Linda Beth would let him watch baseball; but most importantly they loved each other through life’s good, bad and ugly. Disagreements were quickly resolved when Larry said “yes dear.”
Her love for music and playing the flute were constants in her life. She was eclectic in her musical tastes but enjoyed classic music the most. She convinced Alycia to take piano and play bassoon well enough to obtain a nearly full scholarship to Oklahoma City University. Dennis, however, preferred to spend his time working on a Pontiac given to him by his godgrandparents, John and Nettie Toews.
Linda Beth was active in this church, “her church.” She directed the Children’s Choir, The Children’s Melody Chimes (bells choir) participated in the Sanctuary Singers, UM Ringers and United Methodist Women. She enthusiastically supported UMW projects Stevie’s Run, and the School Supply Backpack project because both activities supported children and youth who would benefit from the activity. Her contributions to this congregation went much beyond those specific activities. She made posters, bulletin boards, table decorations and many other miscellaneous contributions. Perhaps her most popular contribution was her cupcakes: sweet, savory and unique. It should not go without mention that she made sure Larry and Dennis did their part in support of her efforts.
Linda Beth will be mourned and painfully missed by her extended family and close friends. But we will do what she expects of us, manage our grief, comfort one another, remembering how she loved us and we her. She would encourage us to continue our lives reflecting the values she so consistently demonstrated to all of us, and so we must.
Linda Beth never saw herself as an exceptional person, which to those of us who know her well made her that much more exceptional, loving, serving, person that has most positively impacted our lives and the lives of hundreds of others.
Linda Beth is survived by her husband, Larry Warren of the home; a son, Dennis Warren of Oklahoma City; a daughter, Alycia Warren-Bensch and her husband, John of Yukon; her only grandson, Jackson Warren Bensch; her brothers: James “Jimmy” Russell and wife, Sharon of McAlester, and Roy Russell and his wife, Anita of Yukon; a half brother, Dean Russell of California; and a twin sister, Glenda Vandewalker and husband, David of Norman. She is also survived by her father-figure, Dennis Toews of the home; a godchild, Dennise Toews; and her godgrandchildren, Lanie Hand and Kael Wilson, all of Tishomingo.
Celebration of Life services will be 10 a.m. today at the United Methodist Church with the Rev. Michael Dye officiating. Interment will be at 4:30 p.m. at Fairlawn Cemetery in Elk City, Okla.
Honorary pallbearers will be Wendell Blair, Keegan Varner, Sam Cecil, Greg Gardner, Shirley Tucker and Reba Massey.
A donation to the United Methodist Women’s School Supply/Backpack Project would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.
Services under the direction of Tishomingo Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to www.tishomingofuneralhome.com.