Linda Hoover, age 52, of Wilmington, NC, died on December 15, 2022, due to complications from multiple myeloma and plasma cell leukemia. Her life, though too brief, was filled with love, passion, adventure and was marked by many significant personal and professional achievements.
Linda was born on April 25, 1970, in Easton, PA. As a middle child of four, she learned from an early age to make her voice heard, to be resilient and persistent, and the value of teamwork. Even as a child, her exuberant personality exceeded her small stature. These traits served her well as the family moved multiple times—across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York—throughout Linda’s childhood. Growing up, she was a successful competitive swimmer and would often recount harrowing memories of her mother’s brief coaching stint. During summers, the family would visit relatives at Conneaut Lake, PA, and a small piece of property in the woods of Shanksville, PA, lovingly named Lurland. It was at these special places Linda was first introduced to the thrill of outdoor adventures. Upon graduation from high school, her love of family was tested as her parents and younger siblings followed her when she left New York for college in Blacksburg, Virginia. Linda soon learned, however, that having family close had many benefits for a young college student, such as access to food, laundry services, and the occasional source of bail money.
Linda graduated from Virginia Tech with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She loved being a VT Hokie, a source of pride she happily shared along with many of her dearest friends and three generations of family members. After graduation, Linda embarked on a brief but successful career in higher education administration, working at Winthrop University and being named one of the youngest assistant deans at the University of Oregon. In Oregon, Linda’s passion for outdoor adventure was reignited. She returned east to become a rafting guide and counselor at the wilderness camp Alternative Youth Adventures. During this time, she met her beloved partner, Jason, formed important lifetime friendships, and reaffirmed that fresh mountain air fed her soul.
After moving around for much of her life, Linda was happy to make her home in Wilmington, NC. She became an entrepreneur and established her own conference planning business, Event Planning Solutions, in 2005. Capitalizing on her strength with logistics, she grew EPS into a successful small business and hosted events throughout the country and many international destinations. Linda was active in the community and volunteered her time at the humane shelter and Pawz in the Park. She especially enjoyed spending time on the trails at Blue Clay Park followed by going to one of Wilmington’s many restaurants and breweries. Linda created a strong circle of friends that both supported her and that she supported selflessly. She was particularly proud of her partner’s many years of service in the Wilmington Fire Department and felt a special kinship within the WFD family.
Linda’s love of adventure resulted in many trips throughout the country and beyond. She achieved a lifetime goal of visiting all 50 states by her 50th birthday. She enjoyed regular visits to mountain destinations and loved spending time at her family’s house at Sunset Beach, NC. Linda was an avid hiker, biker, and swimmer. She often challenged her body—and mind—through a variety of endurance competitions, particularly those hosted at spectacular locations. Among her many accomplishments, she ran a marathon around Kiawah Island, SC, swam around Key West, conquered a fourteener (Pikes Peak in CO), biked from Telluride, CO to Moab, UT, and completed a 28 mile hike in less than 15 hours.
Linda was happiest with a dog snuggled by her side. She treasured her years of companionship with her own pups: Anela, Loke, Tasha, and Peanuts. One of her lasting legacies will be teaching her family–particularly her father–the joy provided by loving a furry companion.
Linda’s final test of endurance was not one of her own choosing, though she handled her April 2022 cancer diagnosis with characteristic grit, grace, and determination. As she documented her journey, she noted the many life lessons that cancer was providing, always searching for opportunities for personal growth. Notoriously stubborn, she learned to be more flexible and to ask for and receive help. Ever the endurance athlete, she walked a marathon through the hallways of the hospital during her bone marrow transplant. Throughout her months of treatment, Linda’s dimpled smile and emerald eyes could brighten a room and lift her loved ones’ spirits.
Linda is survived by her partner, Jason; her parents Mae and Bob; her older sister Lisa and brother-in-law Tony; her younger brother Dan and sister-in-law Laura; her younger sister Katie; her nieces Maggie and Caroline; her nephews Joey and John; and many members of Jason’s (very large) family. She is also survived by numerous friends, though several notable friends preceded her in death.
Linda was so much to those who loved her: partner, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, confidant, advisor, mentor, dog mama. She is missed.
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday 2/4. In lieu of flowers, Linda’s loved ones request donations be made to one of the many charitable causes for which Linda volunteered her time, money, skills, and sweat, including: Canines For Service, Inc., Open Gate Domestic Violence Shelter and Service, Inc., Team in Training Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.