LINDA HARPER/ WHITE
03-31-1947 to 03-16-2022
Linda was born to Avis Snelling and Warren Harper at Mare Island Naval Base in Vallejo, CA on March 31, 1947. While still very young, her parents divorced and she moved to her grandparent’s farm in Milan, MO where she spent her first few years. She often talked about living there and how she followed her grandfather, Sam as he did his farm work. “If he walked five steps, I walked five steps”. That time made a big impression on her.
Her mother bought a hair salon and motel in Noel, MO where she spent her later childhood to early teens, growing up in a resort town which she had many fond memories and talked of often, swimming in the river and dancing with the college guys at the local entertainment spot.
In her teens, she returned to Milan, MO to live with her father and his wife, completing her high school education, then immediately following graduation, came to Kansas City with a couple of girlfriends.
She enjoyed her time being single, sharing apartments, in midtown KC, with a rotating group of friends and gradually settling into a career in the medical insurance industry as a claims examiner and eventually customer service representative. She became manager of Customer Service for GEHA when they were still just a local company and she completed her career with FTJ Insurance.
In her late 20s she married Michael White and they had two children, Justin Michael and Kevin Christopher. During this time, they moved to Blue Springs, MO, where she set down her roots.
In 2000, she remarried to Wayne Branner.
Linda was very much a people person and was successful in Customer Service as a result. After retirement, she was happiest working in a retail environment where she could deal directly with the public and made many friends with coworkers. She also became a part time “lunch lady” with the Blue Springs School district and enjoyed her fellow workers, the children and the fact that she only had to put in three hours a day. Her last retail job was for Aramark at Royals Stadium in the retail store there. That was her favorite and she was very sorry to have to give that up.
She was very much a sports fan and was always at her children’s baseball games. Both her sons were avid baseball players and they kept her running from spring to fall. She also enjoyed going to the Royals and Chiefs games and finally got to see the Royals in the playoffs and World Series from the stands. It was very much a highlight. The Chiefs were a harder road. She was very much of the opinion that they needed to get rid of Marty and Carl and get a young quarterback they could develop. It took a while, but they finally came around to her way of thinking and she lived to see the Chiefs go to the Super Bowl twice and win once.
Linda also got to start enjoying traveling, taking her first big trip with her sons on a cruise to the Bahamas. For her second marriage, she and Wayne eloped to Tahiti and honeymooned in Bora Bora, which was the high point in her travels. She also got to go to the Caribbean and Hawaii. More recent trips were to California with Coronado being her favorite spot.
She was diagnosed with colon cancer in early 2017 and was given only an estimated three years. It turned out that she was tougher than you would think, getting through five years and starting on a sixth when she fell and broke her leg/hip. She was well on the road to recovery when her cancer started in again and she finally left us on March 16, 2022. She seemed to be somewhat proud of the fact that she had gotten through nearly 90 chemo treatments.
She will be remembered as a friendly, outgoing person who could get along with most people. She greatly loved her children and grandchildren and would gladly have had them all living with her still. She also loved her dogs and other pets. She kept her spirits up despite the odds against her. She will truly be missed, and it was s gift to be able to be in her life.
She is survived by her sons Justin and Kevin, their wives and her grandchildren Connor, Abigail and Anna, her dogs Gizmo and Dani and husband, Wayne. She also leaves her beloved Aunt Shirley, who is like a second mother. We all wish you didn’t have to leave us and we will see you soon.
She picked out the picture, which was her favorite one that I took of her.
There will be an open house for friends and acquaintances to visit for a bit at her home in Blue Springs on April 23, 2022. Part of her ashes will be interred with her family in Milan, MO on May 14 2022. She requested that her ashes be scattered in the lagoon in Bora Bora, which was her favorite place she visited. We’ll try to do that on July 4 2022, which would have been her 22nd wedding anniversary.