On Monday morning, July 31st, 2017 Linda J. Evans' life was cut tragically short by a hit-and-run driver during her daily marathon training.
In an effort to preserve Linda’s memory, her family has started this memorial fund to cover costs of services and to create a permanent memorial tree and/or bench as place of solace and remembrance at a local park or along one of her favorite running trails.
Linda Jean (Musick) Evans was born on November 26th 1948 in Champaign, Illinois to James V. and Margaret L. (Moore) Musick. One of six children, she grew up in Columbus, graduating from Whetstone High School in 1967. She enjoyed dancing the night away at her 50-year class reunion at the end of July, only a few days before the accident.
A lifelong runner, she began running during her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in Oklahoma. Linda met her husband Gary D. Evans on the way to the Boston Marathon. They were married July 8, 1979 at the Bexley Sprite Sprint 5k race.
A Columbus Marathon “Legacy” runner, Linda earned that status by competing in every single Columbus Marathon since its start in 1980. At the time of her death, she was training for her 68th marathon. In fact, in the last 37 years, she never missed a day of running.
Linda was a proud mother and grandmother. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren exploring the outdoors, and she was always up for any athletic adventure.
She also never missed a day of work as a Columbus Public School teacher’s aide at Linden S.T.E.M. Elementary. Linda was a creative artist, using her talents for portraits and graphic art.
As a baptized Jehovah’s Witness since 1980, Linda was devout in her faith and dedicated to spreading the word of the Bible. Her “brothers and sisters” in her congregation were her extended family.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents, James V. and Margaret L. (Moore) Musick, and her sister Marlise Musick. She is survived by her husband Gary D. Evans, daughter Carey L. (Kyle) Thomas, step-daughter Dawne (Drew) Stefanik, David (Jen) Beard, grandchildren Sophie Thomas, Ava Thomas, Evan Stefanik, Karley Stefanik, Lauren Beard, Ian Beard, siblings Claudia (John) Riley, Jim (Terri) Musick, Jeff (Margie) Musick, and Tom Musick, as well as nieces and nephews Ryan (Michelle) Riley, Kendra (Jason) Curtis, Mikayla Riley, Carson Curtis, and many loving friends.
An informal Memorial Gathering will be held Thursday August 3rd 2017 from 5pm to 9pm outside near the pavilion at McNamara Park 7049 Big Walnut Rd, Galena, Ohio 43021. We plan to share memories of Linda and a special sunset memorial walk/run around the McNamara loop in her memory.
A more formal Memorial Talk will be held on Friday August 4th 2017 at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall at 2650 West Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43235. Open Reception beginning at 6 pm with a Memorial Talk occurring from 8:00 pm to 8:30pm.