Linda A. Meyer, PhD, was born in Springfield, IL on March 3, 1945 to Winfield and Louise Meyer. She died on December 31, 2019 at Amber Glen Alzheimer’s Care Facility in Urbana, IL. She held BA and MA degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Oregon.
Linda was born into a family of public service, her parents holding state office. She continued that tradition for fifty years in various roles: teacher, counselor, mentor, researcher and author. Her earliest work was with the Down syndrome project at Adler Zone Center at UIUC. Following that she completed over a decade of work with Head Start and Follow Through, assisting children and families in poor communities throughout America. During this time she served on the advisory board of Scholastic Inc. and co-authored a variety of educational materials now published by McGraw-Hill.
Throughout the 1980s she directed longitudinal research on children and learning at the Center for the Study of Reading, UIUC. In 1996 she received the Harold Mitzel Award for Educational Practice from the Journal of Educational Research for the results of that study.
In the last twenty years of her career Linda was in private practice, counseling adoptive families whose children had been exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero, thus suffering developmental and attachment disorders. She never refused a family who could not afford her services. During this period she also became a certified addictions counselor and helped numerous families with her intervention skills. In 2002 she became a Court Appointed Special Advocate in Champaign County, representing neglected and abused children.
Linda was a person of enormous character - calm, deliberate and generous. She was quietly tenacious and extraordinarily patient. She was a life-long Democrat but, like her parents, had friends from the other side of the aisle. She gave to many causes, often anonymously. She loved children of every kind and they loved her in return. To many of them she was “Dr. Linda.” She loved her dogs and it was said by a veterinary friend that if there were such a thing as reincarnation, she would choose to return as one of Linda’s dogs.
The life events which chip, dent and break many people only served to polish her. Linda was sweet and composed, yet fearless. She was a life-long Episcopalian who wore her faith with grace and emphatic gratitude; she was a true believer. And from 1985 until her death, she was a devoted friend of Bill Wilson’s.
Linda is survived by her husband, Don Pilcher, of Urbana; her brother, Fred (Christine) Meyer of Philadelphia; her nephew, Joshua (Courtney) Meyer and their three daughters, Olivia, Amelia and Emma also of Philadelphia; her niece, Sara Meyer (Justin Kato) and their son, Wesley of Seattle; her step-son, Matthew (Roya) Pilcher and their twins, Roxy and Frankie of Potomac, MD; her step-daughter, Lily (Chris) Reed of Apex, NC; her sister-in-law Diane (Siggi) Palzer and her niece Leslie-Ann (Sebastian) Palzer and their daughter, Tori, all in Germany; and her surrogate family, the Rev. Dr. Bradley Pace, his wife, Katie Elder and their children, Isaiah, Miriam and Judah of Indianapolis.
Donations in Linda’s memory may be made to the Crisis Nursery in Urbana, IL. Go to crisisnursery.net or call 217-337-2731.
Services will be held on January 25, 2020 at The Chapel of St. John the Divine with a visitation at 3PM in Canterbury House and the service at 4PM in the Chapel. Father Sean Farrell will preside and the Reverend Dr. Bradley Pace will preach. Linda’s family thanks the fine administration and loving staff at Amber Glen and the very able staff from Transitions Hospice.
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