Linda (Musick) Evans Memorial

For: Linda Evans
Columbus, OH
Organizer: The Family of Linda Evans
Linda (Musick) Evans Memorial (Linda Evans)
of $4,000 goal.
Raised by 138 donors
100% Complete

The Story

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.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 14, 2017


Posted on August 14, 2017

Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for the outpouring of love and support we have received following Linda’s passing. She used to always say her name was “famous” because of the television actress from “Dynasty” who shared the same name.  Now we realize that our Linda Evans created her own “famous” legacy by living her live to the fullest. She was a devoted wife, loving mother, adoring grandmother, caring sister, dedicated teacher, inspiring athlete, creative artist, and a loyal friend to all. 

In appreciation of your generous donations, here is an update on how they are being used: 

It was Linda’s wish that her body be cremated. In her memory, our family plans to spread her remains at several of her favorite places. Prior to her cremation, the dedicated staff at the Ohio Cremation & Memorial Society were able to provide a private viewing for her immediate family.  It was a heartfelt experience and allowed us to have some closure from her abrupt and unexpected death. We were able to say our “goodbyes” and hold her hand one last time. 

To honor Linda’s memory, we are working on creating two memorials, and both will include a memorial tree. The first memorial will be located at the site of her death. It will feature a boulder with an engraved plaque, marking her memory. Westerville Parks and Recreation department has already granted permission for the memorial boulder and tree to be placed alongside the western side of Park Meadow Road.  

We are so touched and honored by the actions of MRTT (Mothers Run This Town). They are a Columbus OH running community who created a heartfelt temporary memorial at the crash site. Running shoes, flowers, and even a Columbus Half-Marathon metal were a touching tribute in the immediate days following this tragedy. It is our understanding that the running shoes will eventually be donated to a charity when the permanent memorial is completed. 

The second memorial will be an engraved bench located along the Alum Creek Trail. Following our donation, the Columbus Parks and Recreation department will be providing Linda’s memorial bench.  It will include a personalized plaque and will be maintained through the life of the bench, an average of ten years.  Linda’s husband, Gary Evans, and a close friend spent days walking some of her favorite running paths. They found the ideal location on the Alum Creek Trail near Ohio Dominican University. This location is a fitting tribute. Gary used to coach men’s soccer at the University and Linda took art classes while he coached. The bench site will be on the east side of Alum Creek, across the water from the ODU baseball fields. We will keep you updated when the bench has been installed at the site. We hope this fitting tribute, will be a place of memory, solace, and relief for all that miss Linda and love her. 

The Columbus Marathon has granted Linda’s daughter Carey, permission to run the October 15, 2017 race in her Mother’s place. Carey is honored to wear her Linda’s bib number and compete in the race she was training for when she was killed. Runners around the country, including Linda’s family, are using #RunForLinda to track daily mileage towards her running legacy.  

From all of us in Linda’s family, we thank each and every one of you for your love and support. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we slowly move through this process. 

Linda’s Family  

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