Life Story Visitation
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
Linda Brigham, a wife to Doug and mother to Aaron, was passionate about helping her students become their very best. She lived to teach and inspire others, touching the lives of countless students in the area over the years. Linda was deeply devoted to her family, and it was easy to see that she spent most of her days alongside her true companion. Not afraid to be her own person, she often resisted new ways of doing things as the old way always suited Linda just fine. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
The 1940s were largely defined by WWII as America and our allies fought for the preservation of the freedoms we still enjoy today. While countless young servicemen and women were selflessly serving overseas, those who remained stateside gathered around radios for the latest news from the frontlines. There was dancing in the streets when the Allied Powers declared victory in 1945, setting the baby boom into motion. It was during this same time that Wally and Hattie (Lentz) Flynn were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as spring appeared on the horizon in Pentwater, Michigan, in 1944. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Linda was born on March 29th.
Being raised in the family home on Lake Michigan instilled within Linda a lifelong love for the beach. She was one of three as she was joined in her family by her brother, Mike, and her sister, Colleen. Lin attended local schools, moving on to Western Michigan University after graduating from high school. A few years later, she graduated with her teaching degree. For the rest of her life Linda was a proud Broncos fan.
It was while at Western that Lin met the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Doug Brigham, and they met at a dance. Their connection was almost immediate, and it didn’t take them long to fall deeply in love. Doug often credited Lin for his success as a student as he frequented her in the dorms for study dates, becoming a straight-A student as a result. Excited to begin a new chapter, Linda and Doug were married on August 13, 1966, at St. Vincent’s in Pentwater. As young newlyweds they enjoyed spending time doing many of the things they would do together throughout their married lives. They enjoyed going to games at WMU either with other couples or on their own, and they also regularly went to the beach on weekends. Summers found them spending many weekends in Pentwater. Together Linda and Doug were filled with great joy to welcome their son, Aaron, into their hearts and home.
It has been said that Lin was the boss of the house. While her son certainly knew his limits, she also saw to it that he was allowed to be a kid and enjoy life. When he got a little too close to the line, Lin often reminded him not to make her use her “teacher voice!”
Doug and Lin simply enjoyed being together, often watching sports together, and they had season tickets to WMU football, volleyball, and women’s and men’s basketball. Their personalities complimented one another beautifully. Over the years they took many cruises, both cruising in the car or on a ship. Among their favorite destinations were California, the Caribbean, and baseball spring training camp in Arizona and Lakeland Florida so they could get autographs.
Later in life, Linda was filled with great joy to become a grandmother, and spending time with her grandchildren was a favorite. She was always there to support and encourage them in everything including all their events and activities. Lin loved her grandchildren completely and, after Doug’s death, they were an integral part of keeping her busy doing things like shopping or going out for lunch. Lin was always known for being an amazing cook and loved cooking with her granddaughters; her specialty being cheesy potatoes. Thankfully, her recipe has been handed down to all her grandchildren.
In addition to caring for her family, Linda was passionate about education. Linda and Doug owned and ran the Teacher Center in Portage, Michigan, where they were able to work with family, read, and make lifelong friends. The Teacher Center was in business for over 40 years. She was a teacher in the same school system her son attended, which would make it a bit challenging for Aaron to get away with missing school as she saw the attendance list for all the schools every morning! She spent her entire teaching career teaching second grade at Gilkey Elementary in Plainwell. Her favorite subject to teach was math and she loved her students like they were her own children. Before teaching, Linda worked as a speech therapist which helped her when working with autistic children, which she had so many great memories of. She enjoyed helping her students reach their full potential. Over the years she was so very proud of all the accomplishments of each and every one of her students.
Linda was a two-time cancer survivor. This is one of many reasons her son Aaron when describing his mother refers to her as “tough.” Rarely one to be still, Linda was someone who enjoyed many different things throughout her life’s journey. She was social and outgoing, the sort of person who’d talk to anyone. She loved her community she called home throughout most of her life. Linda and Doug were known for volunteering their time to help in the community. Being a lifelong learner, she was a voracious reader. She loved flowers and her gardening so much so that she belonged to the Kalamazoo Garden Club for many years. There would be times going out to eat with her, you would have to wait for her to finish picking weeds from the restaurant’s gardens. She also enjoyed shopping on QVC. Aaron would always expect phone calls from her during the holidays asking his opinion if anyone in the family would be interested in the deal she found from QVC.
With unending devotion to those in her care, Linda Brigham touched the lives of so many in a special way. Through the way she lived her life she modeled what it means to treat others the way she wanted to be treated. Lin was blessed to share the best years of her life with her true love with whom she was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include those she loved most. Life will never be the same without Lin here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Linda Brigham, of Kalamazoo, Age 78, died on June 28, 2022. Linda was born March 29, 1944 in Pentwater, Michigan to Wally and Hattie (Lentz) Flynn. Linda was preceded in death by her husband, Doug. Surviving are her son, Aaron (Maryann) Brigham; 6 grandchildren: Veronica, Kevin, Ryder, Kari, Cassie, and Erika; great-grandchildren: Jax, Bella, Kendell, Alexander, Gemma, and Claire; siblings: Mike (Kendra) Flynn and Colleen (Mike) Donaldson; and nieces and nephew: Courtney, Sara, and Eric. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation 3-5 PM Thursday (JULY 7) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. Visit Linda’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ransom District Library.