Life Story Celebration
Saturday, August 26, 2023
4:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A reception will follow in the Life Story Center where food, drinks and stories will be shared.
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.
Harmony Chapel Church
88067 Co Rd 652
Marcellus, MI 49067
St. Paul's United Methodist Church
PO BOX 456
Lawton, MI 49065
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Linda Mauk had a “wonderful life “, filled with many people that she loved and that dearly loved her back; her husband of 16 years, her beloved sisters, her children, her grandchildren, many cherished life-long friends and even those she met briefly experienced her kindness and generosity.
Her journey through this wonderful life began when Chester and Shirley Wright welcomed their daughter, Linda, into their home and family farm in Porter Township, on August 26, 1945.
Both Linda's parents worked on the land, teaching her the value of hard work, particularly the value of growing one's own food. Linda was the oldest of three girls. It was her responsibility to set the rules, and her younger sisters, Jackie and Martha adamantly broke them. However, they always managed to get their chores done before school, whether it was feeding the sheep or caring for the lambs. The three siblings forged an incredible friendship and Linda was always thankful for the support and presence of her sisters. Linda was a member of the neighborhood 4-H group and attended the Grange Hall activities, as well as Harmony Chapel in Marcellus, developing leadership and responsibility.
Linda went to kindergarten at Lawton, in the same three-story building, up until the 12th grade. Linda was very social from the start, making friends left and right. She was one smart cookie too. Linda was a great Cornet player who performed in the Marching Band and also a charter member of the Lawton Honor Society. She graduated high school in 1963.
In 1964, Linda married her high-school-sweetheart, William Mauk, and began working as a secretary at the same school that she just graduated from. In 1967, she made the decision to stay home after the birth of her daughter, Vicki Lynn. William and Linda bought a home on Bankson Lake less than a mile from where she grew up. In 1968, the family welcomed their second child, William Eugene (Willie). Linda was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, focused on raising her children. She always kept the house clean and organized. She was great in the kitchen perfecting her signature creations of Potato Salad, Peanut Brittle, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh those cookies! Everyone loved those cookies!
Linda loved being involved in her children's activities as they grew up, from being a Girl Scout leader to even organizing tailgates for Blue Devil football. She knew how to be helpful, in every action and was a great role model. Linda did everything with care and love. Whether dropping off homemade goodies or sending cards, she was always thinking of others. Even the mailman scored a box of peanut brittle from the Mauk's mailbox every Christmas. She exemplified Mother Theresa’s quote “do small things with great love”.
Linda landed a job in the Kalamazoo County Farm Service Agency, where she worked for 29 years before retiring. Being a farm girl at heart, she loved working with the farmers. This was the perfect job for her.
Linda liked to look her best at all times, even walking to the mailbox or after surgery. She was always well dressed, and never would be caught without her lipstick. Linda had beauty inside as well as outside. She appreciated nature and wildlife, especially on her walks. She treasured the simplicity and joy of life on the lake that was accompanied by a tight net of caring neighbors. Again, to Linda, friendships mattered. She cherished the many travels and fun times with her close Lawton friends.
In 1998, Linda and William divorced after 34 years of marriage. Consistent with her giving attitude, Linda decided to teach a class on coping with divorce. Bob Reischer, enrolled as a student in her class, took quick notice of her blonde hair and good looks. But, when it comes to personality, Bob and Linda were the textbook example of "opposites attract”. The two married on January 20th, 2006 in Lancaster where Bob's parents lived.
Linda preferred life to be full of fun activities. She and Bob were season ticket holders for Western Michigan University basketball. Linda liked dining out and traveling. She never packed light, making sure there would be plenty of extra wine and snacks. They went all over the U.S. and many places in Europe. Linda particularly enjoyed places that held historical significance, such as Paris, France. Big Sur, in California, was her and Bob's favorite. Linda made sure to thoroughly catalog all her adventures with journals, pictures, and videos. As she was with everything else, Linda was incredibly scrupulous in the organization of her photo albums. She also enjoyed cross-stitching, embroidery, interior decorating, gardening, and photography. In fact, she always had her camera with her at all family events, big and small, to capture those moments that later revealed themselves as precious.
Linda and Bob found the simple pleasure in caring for their home, and among other tasks, they divided the workload of lawnmowing—she did the back yard, and he did the front yard. Linda's fondest pastime was cultivating her friendships. It was always a delight playing Pinochle with her friends in two different card clubs in Lawton. She also enjoyed going to the theatre with her friends, but many Fridays were reserved specifically for her birthday lunch group. Linda didn’t just play cards, but also bells. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
Linda made it a point to be involved in the lives of all her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, and great nieces and nephews just as she had with her immediate children. Her gift giving is legendary, with gifts, treats and baked goods all in a bag that led to her affectionate nickname “bag lady”. Linda would never miss an opportunity to show support for her family with her encouraging presence at many activities from sporting events to plays. Linda had a tremendous amount of pride in her family. With all the love she experienced, she was confident to say, "I've lived a good, satisfying life."
Linda was a caring and loving person, and where her kindness impacted the hearts of so many, her memory continues to live on, knowing we are better people for having her in our lives. Those near her pressing absence may find direction in one of Linda's favorite poems by Wordsworth:
"Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind."
Linda Kay Mauk, 77, died August 10, 2023, at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. She was born August 26, 1945, in Kalamazoo, the daughter of Chester and Shirley (Fox) Wright. Surviving are her husband, Robert Reischer; children: Vicki (Richard) VanSlambrouck and Willie (Tiffany) Mauk; grandchildren: Karalyn (Harry) Poster, Luke, and Victoria VanSlambrouck, and Christopher and Amber Mauk; sisters: Jackie (Doug) Noble and Martha Wright; and many nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. Cremation has taken place. A Life Story Celebration will be held Saturday, August 26, 2023, 4 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900 followed by a reception in the Life Story Center. Visit Linda’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Harmony Chapel Church, Marcellus, or St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lawton.