Linda Negangard Stuhlman, 75, passed away on March 28, surrounded by her loving family, following a courageous battle with cancer.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James, who had died on March 22, 2022, and their daughter, Gretchen. Linda is survived by her two sons, Luther (Stephanie) of New Cannan and Bradley (Guillermina) of Kings Beach, California; her five siblings, Ginny Negangard, David (Dawn) Negangard, Jane (Richard) Ritchie, Rita Negangard, and Karen (Stan) Pietrzyk; her nephew Benjamin (Claire) Pietrzyk; and niece Jana (Matthew) McGregor, as well as her three grandsons, Connor, Jack, and Lucas, who brought her so much joy.
Born Feb. 2, 1947, in Milan, Indiana, to Lowell and Harriett Esther (Walker) Negangard, Linda was loving, intelligent, kind, courageous, dedicated, and nurturing throughout her life.
She was a graduate of Milan High School (1965) and then Purdue University (1969), where she studied family and consumer sciences. She earned her master’s degree in education in 1976 from the University of Connecticut, where she held a concentration in family studies. Linda started her teaching career in Connecticut as a home economics teacher at New Britain Junior High School and then at Daniel Hand High School in Madison before purchasing the Red Barn Children’s Center in Clinton in 1979 with her husband, Jim. She served as the director of the Red Barn for 37 years developing an acclaimed early education program and summer camp. The Red Barn’s leafy campus served as an idyllic environment for her to raise a family.
Linda was a vocal advocate for early childhood education and a member of a number of nonprofit organizations involved in helping young children and their families. In 2004, Linda helped found the Best Beginnings program in Clinton. She was also a prominent member of the Middlesex United Way Education Committee and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Over the course of her career in early childhood education, Linda was recognized as the Clinton Board of Education’s Business Person of the Year and received a Community Impact Award. For Linda, part of enjoying her life was working in an educational environment. Following her retirement from the Red Barn and throughout her battle with cancer, Linda continued keeping busy as an paraeducator at Jeffrey Elementary School in Madison and working as a education consultant.
Linda was an amazing mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother, friend, and educator. She lived fully. Keep her in mind with her motto: “Be safe, be kind.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: Discovery to Cure https://wizathon.com/campaigns/1497 or the Clinton Sailing Club https://clintonsail.org/asp-products/donate-and-join/.
A Celebration of Life gathering for Linda and her husband Jim is being planned for a date this spring.