WATKINS, Linda Howard Died on Friday, April 29, 2022. She was 78 years old. Born on July 13, 1943, Linda grew up in Hingham, MA. On sunny days, Linda could always be seen with her face lifted towards the sun. She went to great lengths to achieve the perfect tan, even constructing a tanning booth from a refrigerator box lined with aluminum foil. In the winter, Linda loved ice skating on a pond in Hingham where she earned the nickname “Speedy.” After graduating from college in 1965, Linda worked as an au pair in Nice, France. Fluent she wrote poetry in French and loved French music. Here she had thrilling barefoot adventures on the back of a moped on the cliff roads of Les Grande Corniches. After gaining fluency in Italian after studying and living there after France, Linda moved to Back Bay, Boston in 1970. Linda lovingly created a wonderful world full of vibrant color, music, books, laughter, play, and friends for herself and her daughter de she. Linda began a career in libraries serving with the Library Volunteers for Boston in 1972. Under this program she established and managed two Boston Public School elementary school libraries. Linda earned a Master’s of Education degree at Boston University and certification as both a media specialist and elementary and secondary school teacher. In 1978, she became the library media specialist at North Quincy High School. In 1981, Linda started a second master’s program at the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), while working as assistant SLIS librarian. Graduating in 1984, she assumed the role of SLIS librarian. In 1985, Linda received the Kenneth R. Shaffer Outstanding Student Award and was inducted into the Beta Phi Mu international honorary society for librarianship. Ella’s professional calling was her role as the SLIS librarian at Simmons University, a position she held for 33 years. There she devoted herself to being a librarian’s librarian bar none. About her career, a colleague wrote: “No one better understood collections, faculty, and staff than Linda. No one worked more selflessly and tirelessly on behalf of her thousands of constituents. No one went further into depths and breadth of service beyond all expectations.” And no one did all of these things without ego, but rather with pride of place.” In 2014 Linda was inducted into the Massachusetts Library Association Hall of Fame. She received the Simmons Alumni Achievement Award that same year. For the last 15 years of Linda’s life, her greatest joy was her granddaughter. Katie, who called Linda “Dado,” was her heart. Linda took on the role of “Dado” with the supremest of love and with unbridled enthusiasm, joy, and pride. It was her ultimate role for her. Linda leaves behind her daughter, Sarah Howard Watkins; her granddaughter, Katie Watkins DiCesare; and son-in-law Tom DiCesare of Wayland, MA; her sister, Nancy Watkins Denig; and Niece, Julia Watkins Denig, of Northampton, MA; and many cousins and friends whom she remembered and loved with her whole being until the very end. Linda will go back home to Hingham and be interred next to her parents, Joseph Ray Watkins and Betty Lewis Watkins, at St. John’s Memorial Garden. There will be a Celebration of her Life de ella at 11 AM on June 18, 2022 at Hingham Bathing Beach Gazebo. If anyone would like to make a donation in memory of Linda, please consider the School of Library & Information Science at Simmons University or The Learning Project Elementary School of Boston. Arrangements entrusted to the care of the John C. Bryant Funeral Home of WAYLAND. For condolences, please visit www.johncbryantfuneralhome.com
Published by Boston Globe from May 14 to May 15, 2022.