Those were the first words from Scott B. Smith, Jr when he reached me on the phone earlier this afternoon.
Linda went to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, AL last night because she was suffering from severe stomach pain. It happened to be her and Scott B's wedding anniversary. Exteremely frustrated and at her wits end after waiting for more than five hours to have her pain treated and her condition addressed, Linda asked Scott B to take her home around 9:30 PM. Scott B took care of Linda through the night; he fell asleep for a couple of hours at about 4 AM. When he woke up again at about 6 AM, Linda was dead.
Scott B said, "Linda came back to Montgomery with me to work with the people of Lowndes County. Though she was treated badly, she loved Lowndes County. Linda was a warrior. She never stopped trying to work with people. Anything she could do: she was doing it. She was concerned about the children. When she was teaching and was asked to use corporal punishment, Linda said, 'I am not a slave owner. I am a teacher.'"
In her last years, Linda had ongoing pain from fibromyalgia. Linda remained a gifted writer, teacher and photographer and a committed activist. She taught and mentored many, many people, including me (Ben).
Linda has requested that she be cremated. There will be a memorial service on Sunday, July 2, at the Unity Baptist Church in White Hall, Lowndes, County, AL. Church service begins at 11:00 a.m. Memorial service begins at 12:30 p.m.
Scott B welcomes phone calls, email and postal mail with condolences or memories of Linda. He would also welcome financial assistance to pay for Linda's autopsy. You can reach Scott B by phone at 334-262-7547. His mailing address is 2010 McKinley Avenue, Montogmery, AL 36107. His email address is scottbsmith_jr at yahoo dot com.
UPDATE#1 (6/28): I made a mistake on Scott B's phone number. Area code is 334, not what I had before. The number, above, is now correct.
UPDATE#2 (6/28): There is now a time for the memorial service, added above.
Read an interview/conversation with Linda Dehnad and her fellow Civil Rights Movement veterans, Jimmy Rogers and Bruce Hartford.