Linda P. Soucek
Linda P. Soucek, 66, died Sunday, December 22, 2013 in her home in Franklin with her family by her side. She was born April 5, 1947 in Newport News to Ina Kaye Sawyer and William Edward Pitts.
Linda was graduated from Ferguson High School in Newport News in 1965. She earned a BS in English, Speech, and Journalism at Radford University (with Honors) in 1969. She also obtained an MS Ed in Secondary Education (4.0 GPA) at ODU in 1998, and an MS endorsement in English (4.0 GPA) at ODU in 2000.
She married Howie Soucek July 26, 1969 at Christchurch, and while Howie completed his last year at Hampden-Sydney College, she taught remedial reading in grades 3-7 at Rice Elementary School in Prince Edward County, 1969-70.
From 1970 to 1979, Linda taught English Grammar and Literature at Middlesex High School in Middlesex County while Howie taught in the middle school. During this time Linda and Howie lived in a small cottage nestled in a pine forest on a freshwater lake near Deltaville. This was their haven of peace together amid a world of drama and turmoil. It was also in the early years of their marriage that Linda joined Howie in obtaining an aircraft pilot’s license, and the couple owned and flew a Cessna 150 for many years. Howie was a master navigator, but no one landed a plane more gently and sweetly than Linda.
The couple moved to Franklin, where Howie had taken a position with Union Camp Corporation in 1979. Linda taught English Grammar, Composition, and Literature at Southampton Academy, 1980-1981, and she tutored students at local public and private schools preparing for SAT testing, 1983-1984.
From 1985 to 2011, Linda was an English teacher at Franklin High School, including Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, Dual Enrollment English, Composition and Creative Writing, Public Speaking, and Journalism. She also enjoyed being an on-campus English Instructor for PDCCC, 2011-2012.
An article titled “What Makes an Extraordinary Teacher” appeared in The Tidewater News in October 2012, with Linda as a prime example, and indeed many former students of hers—and their parents—will testify as to her love of and passion for the best interests of her students—and they love her for it. By her husband, Linda is described as the most giving, selfless person he has ever known; theirs is an abiding and profound love.
Linda is predeceased by her parents and by her dear sister, Donna Kaye Sterling, who passed away only this past December 5. She is survived by her husband; her children, Allen Howard and Mathias Carpenter; and her granddaughter, Zhanna Victoria, by Allen.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Linda’s life will take place Sunday, January 5, at 2 p.m. at High Street United Methodist Church at 31164 Camp Parkway, Courtland. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to make a remembrance may make a contribution to an appropriate Area United Way; the High Street United Methodist Church or the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, both in Franklin.