AUSTIN, Texas – Linda Lou Van Winkle, 70, a long-term resident of Cheyenne and recent Austin, Texas, transplant, passed away in Austin on Dec. 9, 2018, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
She was born Aug. 17, 1948, en route to the hospital in Morrill, Neb., to Louis and June (Donbraska) Zavorka, displaying her exuberance and eagerness for life at a very early age. She grew up surrounded by many loving aunts, uncles and cousins in the Torrington area. Born the third of five sisters, she and her siblings worked on the family farm with more strength and tenacity than a pile of sons ever could have.
She graduated high school in 1966 and moved to Cheyenne, where she worked at Halladay Motors as a bookkeeper. She met the love of her life, Ralph, and married July 26, 1969, demonstrating unconditional love for each other and countless others that crossed their path through 46 years of marriage. She worked secretarial and bookkeeping positions for several companies, retiring in 2000 from the Laramie County School District.
She was an avid fisherman, hunter, camper,and general lover of all things “mountain.” September through December (hunting season) was always a whirlwind of activity with cherished friends, family and the beginning of new memories. Many remember her fondly as a great baker and cook. She could often be found force feeding anyone who came into her home. A declined offer of another helping of food, even accompanied by a plea that you could eat no more, would be met with a smile and two additional scoops on your plate instead of three.
Proud of her Czechoslovakian heritage, she made countless memories with her grandchildren and their friends baking kolaches. With declining health and the passing of her husband, she moved to Austin in April 2016 to live with her daughter and family. There, she rallied medically and enjoyed her bonus time with the Yardas family, made several trips and had many visits with her beloved sisters and other children and grandchildren, and basked in the warm climate.
Linda is survived by her son, John Van Winkle; daughters Rhonda (Scott) Yardas and Melinda (Jason) Krazer; grandkids Morgan, Jordan, Zoe, Kylie, Kyra, Charlie, Cale, Wyatt and Noah; sisters Barbara (Joe) Peterson, Betty Abel, Sandy (Bill) Lummus, Janice (Art) Shields; step brother Larry Broers; step sisters Karen McCabe and Janet Broers, and many loving uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and “adopted” family. She was preceded in death by her father, mother, and loving husband.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chadha and his caring staff at Texas Oncology and all of the amazing volunteers and staff at St. David’s South Austin Hospital, with a special thanks to those in Short Stay and Radiology, as well as the best and kindest group of men in valet.
A Celebration of her Life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Chapel in Cheyenne.
In lieu of flowers, please consider an online donation to one of the following: driveasenior.org/donate/ or mealsonwheelscentraltexas.org