Linda Burnett, 66, native and life-time resident of Gilroy, passed away on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was at home surrounded by friends and family. Linda is the daughter of Anna Burnett and Ray Burnett (deceased), sister of Clayton Burnett (Roni), aunt to Riley, and mother to Laramie, her beloved Australian Shepherd. She also had a large extended family not only blood related, but related by great love and friendship.
Linda was born and raised in Gilroy and attended Eliot, Jordan, Glen View, and Severance schools as well as Brownell Junior High. She graduated from Gilroy High School in 1962. She was raised on the old Castro Valley Ranch and was very active in 4-H, winning many blue ribbons for her livestock. She attended Fresno State and San Jose State University where she earned her teaching credential.
It was Gilroy’s lucky day in 1968 when Linda was hired to teach at Brownell Junior High. She spent 37 years enriching the lives of Gilroy’s youth. Throughout her career, she always implemented innovative methods of teaching and encouraged her students to be their very best. She continued her career at South Valley Middle School until 2005 when she retired. She was recognized as the MACSA Teacher of the Year in 2005. She leaves behind a lasting legacy of love and respect among her students and colleagues.
Linda’s many interests included travel, cooking, photography, and tracing her Scottish ancestry. She founded the “Thinking and Drinking Ladies Book Club”, was a member of the Gilroy Federation of Teachers, FRFG and served on the Board of the Gilroy Historical Society. She worked tirelessly for the passage of Measure F (Gilroy’s new library) and the 2008 Obama campaign.
A celebration of her life will be held on Dec 11, 2010 at 1:00 P.M. at the Presbyterian Church, 6000 Miller Avenue in Gilroy. Her friends and family invite you to join them to remember Linda and her life well spent. She was a helluva woman!
In lieu of flowers, Linda’s family suggests donations in her name to the Gilroy Historical Society Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 1621, Gilroy, CA 95021; the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, ALA 36104(splcenter.org); or the Linda Burnett Scholarship Fund in care of the Gilroy Foundation, P.O. Box 774. Gilroy, CA 95021.