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Champaign- Linda B. Burton, passed away on Thursday, May 3rd, at 9:45 am at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
She was raised with two sisters and a brother in Alexandria, Virginia by Carl and Helen Barnes, and part of her heart stayed there until the day she died. She thought of herself as 25, but that would discount the long life she lived and the decades of fun she gave to the people around her until her passing on May 3rd at age 71.
She was hilarious, charming, and generous. Starting out as a dancer, poet, model, and musical theatre actress in Alexandria, she married Rod Burton in 1978 and was a loving wife and mother to four children (Carl, Rodney, Alice, and Brandon Burton) while continuing work as a writer and columnist (New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Princeton (NJ) Packet, News-Gazette). She forever remained an ardent fan of the arts and had a particular love for the writing and plays of the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the 1980s, she co-founded the national organization “Mothers at Home” to support the critical importance of a mother in a child’s life, which she underscored as a parent, and as a foster, and adoptive parent. To further this work, she was the co-author of the book “What’s a Smart Woman Like You Doing at Home?” Her children’s book “Pay Attention, Emily Brown,” illustrated by her son Carl, was a late accomplishment in her life, and was all the more remarkable as her last 30 years were marked by her battle with chronic pain.
She is survived by her husband, three sons, a daughter, four grandchildren, and a library’s worth of memories in the minds of those who loved her.
An open house will be held at the home of Rodney Burton, 912 W. Park Ave in Champaign, on Sunday, May 20th from 2-5 pm. A burial service will be held for her at Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia, IL on Saturday, June 9th, at 2 pm.