Jean Marie Linden

Jean Marie Linden (nee Gottsch), formerly of Collinsville and Caseyville IL, died Sunday, July 8, 2018 at Clinton Manor Living Center in New Baden, IL.

Jean was born September 2, 1933 in Flandreau, South Dakota. When Jean was 10, her family moved to Egan, SD. She attended Egan High School, where she was active in many clubs. Jean’s parents were Henry George Gottsch and Emma Wilhelmina “Minnie” Gottsch (nee Kruetzfeldt). In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brothers, Melvin (Maxine), Wilbur (Denzel), Louis (Peggy), Irvin, and Donald (Gladys) Gottsch; her sisters, Lavilla and Loween Gottsch, Clarice (Lowell) Rosenkjar and Ellen Wynia; and by her daughter, Gretchen Linden, an infant son, and her great-grandson, Timothy (TJ) Reno, Jr.

Jean is survived by her baby brother, Darold (Linda); her daughters, Melanie (Mark) Jasper, Adrienne Linden and Christina Linden; five granddaughters, Ashley (Tim) Reno (nee Hoffmann), Leah Linden, Erin Linden-Swafford, Madison Linden-Swafford and Maria Linden; and by numerous nieces and nephews.

In 1952, she married Dr. George W. (Bill) Linden. After they started a family, Jean put her career on hold, and was a homemaker for many years, returning to the workforce after their divorce in 1973. She served as a Brownie troop co-leader, and Collinsville High School band parent. She was active in civil rights in the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, she was a member of the SIUE Faculty Wives and held the position of treasurer, and later, as president, of the Collinsville League of Women Voters. She always aspired to be a nurse. As a 40-something single mother, she completed the courses and tests to become a CNA. She was so thrilled to accomplish this, but after a year of working as a CNA, she realized that she couldn’t handle the physical aspects of that job, so she had to let her dream pass. She worked as a bookkeeper at Brooks Catsup in Collinsville, a tax advisor at Tax Teller, and as a bookkeeper at Schilly trucking and for local credit unions, eventually taking an accounting job at the VA at Jefferson Barracks. She retired in 1998.

She enjoyed reading, watching t.v., especially “Jeopardy”--she knew the answers and did not want to be distracted between 4:30-5:00, Monday through Friday, no phone calls, please. Jean also was a true St. Louis Cardinals fan. She read the sports pages every day and couldn’t wait for spring training and opening day.

Jean had a keen sense of humor, and a beautiful smile. She corrected our grammar, and almost always won at Scrabble, much to our dismay. She will be dearly missed by her daughters and granddaughters, but as she said after losing Gretchen, we have to “carry on.” We will “carry on,” Mom, though life won’t be the same without you. Thank you for your example as a strong and independent woman, and for loving us SO much! Love you always -- Melanie, Mark, Adrienne, Christina, Ashley, Tim, Leah, Erin, Maddy and Maria. HSDILYGNSW

Thank you to Jean’s friends, especially Alice and Dave Chamley, and Sandi Slack, for your support and love. A special thanks to the wonderful staff at Clinton Manor who made Mom’s final years comfortable—she gave them a lot of hugs, laughs, and grief, and they gave her hugs and love and compassionate care in return. The Linden, Jasper, Reno and Linden-Swafford families thank you, Clinton Manor!

In lieu of flowers, Jean requested donations to the Activity Fund, Clinton Manor Living Center, 111 East Illinois St, New Baden, IL, 62265. Jean was cremated, according to her wishes, and a memorial visitation will be held Saturday, July 21, 2018, at the Barry Wilson Funeral Home, Maryville, IL, from 3:00-5:00pm.

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