Linda J. Cornell: Gifted singer, accomplished businessperson supported her family and community

Linda J. Cornell

Linda Cornell (née Linda Rhodes Johnson) was born in Hollywood, California on June 29, 1940 and passed away in Edmonds, Washington, on September 16, 2018. Throughout her life, Linda demonstrated above all, how to love unconditionally. She was a beacon of faith and strength, someone who always kept her sense of humor and made others know how much she cared about them. Linda was a woman of grace and beauty, a gifted singer, an accomplished businessperson, and a strong support to her family and community.

Linda was predeceased by her parents, Albert and Dorothy (Martin) Johnson of North Hollywood, CA, her brother Richard (“Dick”) Johnson of Huntington Beach, CA, and her granddaughter, Devon Cornell-Drury. Linda is survived by her husband of 56 years, David Allan Cornell, her daughter Laura Cornell (Jim Otis), her daughter Diane Figaro (Rodney Figaro), her granddaughter Sarah Figaro, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Linda was always known for building close friends, which began with the childhood friends she kept to this day known as “the Buddies.” She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1962 at the University of California-Berkeley. At the UC-Berkeley Christian Science Organization, she met David, and they married in 1962. The couple shared the unique pleasure throughout their marriage of Linda being a solo singer, and David being her piano accompanist, starting at church and extending into many other venues. In 1964, they moved to Elsah, Illinois where both worked at Principia College for approximately 40 years. Linda was the Business Manager, managing budgets, contracts, visits by dignitaries, and other duties. She was also the Church Soloist at First Church of Christ, Scientist in Jerseyville, IL and sang in the St. Louis Symphony Chorale with which she performed in Carnegie Hall multiple times.

During their life together, Linda and David enjoyed activities like ballroom dancing, tennis, gardening, church work, and world-wide travel. Their joint ventures in music led to the annual Cornell Family and Friends Concerts in at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood, benefit events to support homeless families in the community.

When their granddaughter Sarah was born in 2007, Linda and David moved to a new house in Lynnwood, Washington and 9 years later to Garden Court Retirement Community in Everett. They enjoyed spending a lot of time with Sarah, including playing board games and just making each other laugh. Linda was active at First Church of Christ Scientist, Edmonds as Clerk and Reading Room Librarian, Sno-King Community Chorale, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, and the Euphrates Institute which supports peace and understanding internationally among Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

The family thanks the community, church, family, and caregivers for their outpouring of love and support at this time. A Celebration of Life will be held in Linda’s honor on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 2:00-3:30pm in the Small Dining Room of Garden Court Retirement Community, 520 – 112th St SW, Everett, WA 98204. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Linda’s honor to First Church of Christ Scientist, 551 Maple Street, Edmonds, Washington 98020.


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