Linda Stoops, 60

Published 3:28pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Born: June 1, 1952

Died: March 19, 2013

Linda started her life journey on June 1, 1952, in Tucson, Ariz., the first daughter of Stanley and Hazel “Susie” Rusek.


A summer trip brought her to visit her grandmother, Victory Walinski, on her farm near Dowagiac, where she met her life-long love, companion and husband, Lawrence “Tim” Stoops.

They celebrated marriage at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church in Dowagiac on July 25, 1970, and lived many years in the community.

Linda served her church for many years as a lector.

Along with Tim, Linda was a volunteer with the Dowagiac Ambulance Service and could always be seen in the background at a working fire. She would make chili, or take refreshing drinks to the firefighters.

She loved working at the Hallmark Store in Elkhart because she enjoyed meeting people and helping them find the perfect card.

She was also very active with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, working as a pledge center coordinator and with kids, door to door.

Linda had a kind heart and opened her house to friends displaced after a fire and was always ready to rescue anyone, including animals in need.

She loved working on her home landscaping and was always giving her roses to anyone who needed a spiritual lift.

She fought cancer for the last three years. During that time, she remained strong and always helpful to others.

In her file, her doctor commented, “Linda is a special person who makes friends with staff and patients in the chemo room.”

Linda spent her final days at home, surrounded by loved ones, including her husband Tim of Niles; daughters, Tiffany Gleason of Las Vegas and Amy Ferguson of Niles; her beloved grandchildren, Ryan and Nicholas Gleason and Bailey and Alexis Ferguson; brothers, Robbie, Ronald, Mickey and Ricky Rusek; and sister, Beverly Simons.

She passed away on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at her Niles home.  She is preceded in death by her parents.

Linda’s family will gather with friends on Monday, March 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Yazel and Clark Chapel.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark Catholic Church in Niles led by Father Tom King.

Memorial contributions in her name may be directed to her husband, Tim.  Please sign her guestbook and leave a memory of Linda at

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