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
100% Complete
Raised by 144 donors

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 July 18, 2018


Posted on July 18, 2018

Family and Friends, 

I cannot thank you enough for your support and love towards our family in our grief.  

Thanks to your donations, there are now two memorial locations that honor Linda Evans along the Alum Creek trail, a path she regularly ran.  The first site is a bench overlooking Alum Creek at Ohio Dominican University.  The second is the memorial stone where she was killed along Park Meadow Drive in Westerville, Ohio.

Both are daily maintained and visited by Linda's husband and my father, Gary Evans.  

As we approach the first anniversary of her tragic death, the Columbus Road Runners Club has posted the following: 

"This Thursday, July 19, at 7 p.m. Columbus Road Runners Club will be sponsoring a memorial run for Linda Evans, a Columbus Marathon Legacy runner whose life was tragically cut short nearly a year ago, on July 31, when she was struck and killed while on a morning run. Her family and friends are still awaiting the trial of her killer.

We will meet at a bench dedicated to her on the Alum Creek trail at Ohio Dominican University. Drivers should park in the lot next to the only university building on the east side of Alum Creek. The lot is ODU property, but runners park there every day since there is a paved trail from the parking lot to the bike path. The bench is right on the other side of the bridge spanning Alum Creek, across from the baseball field.People can access the lot from Airport Drive. 

You can "google" DeMonye's Nursery for a map of the lot (which is immediately NE of their property). Most people will access it from I-670 by exiting at 5th Ave, turning west for one block to Nelson Rd, then turning right (north) following Nelson to a dead end at Airport Dr, at which time they will turn right, crossing over Alum Creek, and heading to the first driveway on the left after the nursery. There are three large parking lots there.Anyone coming from the north on N Cassaday, or from Bexley on the south, turn at the McDonalds and head west for a quarter of a mile until you are adjacent to I-670 where you will see the large parking lot on your right.

Please join us to honor Linda's memory and her amazing running career."

There will be runners as well as walkers at this event, so all distances and paces are encouraged and welcome.

- Carey (Evans) Thomas, daughter

Posted on November 26, 2017


Posted on November 26, 2017

Today, Linda Evans should have turned 69 years old. Her family and friends are still heartbroken by her tragic death and miss her dearly.

We are grateful to report that thanks to the generous contributions that were made in Linda's honor a "memorial plaque" is in the process of being completed, and soon will be placed on a boulder at the site of the accident. Your support and contribution allowed this to happen. We are proud to share the proof of the plaque and will update you when it is placed in Westerville, Ohio.

All of our love and gratitude,
Linda's Family

Posted on October 12, 2017


Posted on October 12, 2017

Hello friends and family of Linda Evans, 

The Columbus Marathon was a special race for Linda. She ran the very first Columbus Marathon and continued to yearly run this race, and was training for this upcoming Sunday's race on the day of her tragic death.

There are two events this upcoming weekend that we wanted to make you aware of - if you are in the Columbus area and would like to attend.

Saturday October 14th at 7am - "Shake Out Run" organized by the Westerville MRTT group. This is a casual run/walk 1-2 miles on the Alum Creek Trail starting at the Linda Evans Memorial Bench.  Please park at 2600 Airport Drive, Columbus OH - on Ohio Dominican University's East Campus. Walk across the large bridge (towards the baseball fields) the bench is on the southwest side of the creek. If you are able to come please feel free to wear your shirt to this event! Runners and Walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Sunday October 15th Columbus Marathon from 7:30a to 12:30p - We ask that all of you consider wearing your Run For Linda shirt on this day, during what would have been her run.

From the family, Dawne (Evans) Stefanik will be running the half-marathon and Carey (Evans) Thomas will be running the full marathon in Linda's honor. Carey will be wearing bib #43 - the bib that would have been Linda's number.  The course map can be found here

Carey plans to stay at a 10:30 per mile pace if that helps you in planning your viewing spot and time. You can also choose to receive real-time tracking for any marathon participant by searching for their name at this site:

In addition, the Columbus Dispatch is planning to print an article about Linda's Marathon in the Sunday October 15th Columbus Dispatch. Please pick up a morning paper or go online to search.

Thank you again for your love and support, 

Linda's Family

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