Linda Marie Best, 79, of Ames, Iowa, formerly of Streamwood, Illinois, passed away at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, on September 2, 2020.
Linda Marie Snyder was born December 2, 1940 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Warren and Lena Belle (Smith) Snyder. She graduated from Danville High School and received both bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington. Linda married Herbert August Best on August 8, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois. The couple lived in Streamwood, Illinois, for over forty years, where they raised their two sons, Christopher and Jeremy. Linda was an executive with the United Way and wrote a twice-weekly column for ten years for the Northwest section of the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Linda was preceded in death by her brother, George (Mollise) Snyder. She is survived by her husband, Herbert August Best; son, Christopher Best and Anna Lapuz-Best and their daughter Abigail Best; son, Jeremy Best and Amy Rutenberg and their sons, Benjamin and Noah; sisters, Dorothy (Al) Andrews and Barbara (Dave) Duncan.
Online condolences may be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com.
Losing my Aunt Linda was difficult. She was a wonderful woman and loving caring Aunt. The distance between us has made things difficult. Wish I could have told her how much she was loved and will be missed.
Roger J. Best
My tribute to a truly great lady is long overdue. I found it very difficult to sit down and express myself without the overwhelming feelings of loss and sadness which prevented me from doing so until now. My sister-in-law Linda, who I dearly loved and will sincerely miss, was the consummate spouse and mother. She was the best thing that ever happened in my brother “Skip’s” life and my two outstanding and caring nephews Chris and Jeremy were blessed to have such a caring and loving mother. She was the glue that held the family tightly together for 50 wonderful years. In retrospect, how I now wish that I had seen her and been with her more frequently over the years to enjoy her company and share her boundless love. I should not have let the considerable distance between us deter us from spending more time together to share and create more lasting memories. Losing Linda has created a huge void in the “Best’ family that only the love by all who were fortunate to know her can even attempt to fill. I will love and miss her forever and keep her in my prayers.
It has been hard to put words together to share how special Linda was. I knew her through our Ames UCC Social Justice & Outreach Committee (SOJO), which is (and perhaps always has been) a micro-community within the broader church. Every month or so six or seven of us gather around a table at the church on a weeknight (somehow always after dark in my mind) to work through a to-do list of social justice efforts. Three-some years ago Linda joined, first as a member and then she stepped up to lead. The work of “social justice” easily becomes broad and unfocused, mired in ideals with no clear plans for action, but Linda was steadfast in working with the group to turn words into actions. Too, church committee leadership comes with not only the obvious responsibilities of getting people together and working through an agenda, but also a number of other liaison roles – with the full church board, with other church committees – and Linda gracefully built those relationships and shouldered all of those responsibilities.
Sharing in work allows for a certain kind of trust and relationship to build, and I have so many memory-vignettes of working with Linda through sojo that I treasure: staying late with me after a meeting to edit down a draft letter to Congress about immigration; putting together a posterboard-dot-vote system to ask the congregation to prioritize how to donate church funds; buying pizza for our church viewing and discussion of the movie U-Turn about the Postville immigration raids; enjoying a children’s book that celebrates cultural difference; sharing a table at the NAACP dinner this winter; planning and pulling off a splendid Christmas posada party with food, stations, activities, song, and prayer. And more. My favorite memory is of Linda’s emotional honesty, sharing at one meeting her frustrations after reading the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. But she persisted in working to understand those frustrations, and when the imperative for racial justice came once again to the forefront of mainstream view this summer she both lead the charge to post a Black Lives Matter sign at the church and planned a Juneteenth observation over zoom for church members.
I am so heartbroken that we have lost her, and after truncating my own wedding this summer, am perhaps most heartbroken that she and Herb missed celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family from near and far as planned barely a month ago. While our SOJO committee-community will continue on, it is hard to believe we won’t hear her voice at our table again. My thoughts are with you, Herb, Jeremy, Amy, Noah, Ben, Chris, and your family.
My Aunt Linda was a joy to be around and always quick witted and full of laughter. I loved her very much and because of distance did not know her as well as I would have otherwise. She was an amazing caretaker of her family and raised two great kids in my cousins. She lived a full life to be proud of as she and my Uncle Skip always shared a sense of adventure in their travels and experiences. I will miss her very much and live her always.
My memories of Linda are with her ministry at Ames UCC. I loved the posada she put together last Christmas, with such care and enthusiasm. And laughter and smiles. Always laughter and smiles. More recently, she interviewed me for the Our Churches Wider Mission offering. She was an exceptional listener, genuinely interested in what I had to say, and meticulous in assuring the message was accurate. She was a gift to my life and I will miss her.
I was honored to work with Linda on the Social Justice and Outreach Committee at Ames UCC. She was an inspiring leader. Her passion and enthusiasm for helping others, especially those who live in the margins of our society was apparent at every meeting and in every action. I'm so glad that I was able to get to know Linda and be inspired by her. Peace be with her family and friends, Diane Birt
I only "knew" Linda a short time (during Covid) and she made me feel like we had known each other for years.
I am SO sorry to hear of her passing, I know she will be missed by many.
I loved our discussions on Zoom. And will miss her laughter and smile.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Best family and the rest of Linda's loved ones during this difficult time.
Linda Snyder Best.
I was a neighbor, classmate, and friend of Linda.
In our high school days during the summers, I worked part-time for her dad (Warren Snyder) in the dairy and hayfields. When you worked for her dad he also fed you and we had many good meals of home-cooked food and fresh ice-cold milk in unlimited quantity.
Linda helped her mother with the farm chores and feeding the hired help. She was always gracious, helpful, and pleasant to be around. We rode the same school bus through some hot summers and cold winters.
Linda was one of the most intelligent persons in our class. She accomplished much and put great sincere effort into everything she did. I treasure the memories of her as a classmate, neighbor, and friend. God bless her and her family.
Linda and I attended grade school through our senior year at Danville High School, Danville, IN. Over the years we became best friends and have many memories. We were attendants in each other's wedding and managed to stay in touch over the years; attended both Jeremy and Chris' weddings; also remember her brother, George and when each sister, Dottie and Barbara, were born. So many memories of her family. Linda and I are family.
Love and blessings to all,
Barbara Eldridge and family
I miss Linda SO much, as do all whose life she touched. But her leadership by example means that she is still alive in our hearts and will continue to guide our actions around social justice for all as we figure out the best ways to make a difference for justice and harmony.
After a difficult leadership meeting one night, Linda stayed back to talk with me. She shared some of her experience of being a woman with authority and offered her ongoing support and mentorship to me. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have recieved as a pastor.
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