Linda Branum McGill passed away at her home on December 17, 2019. She is survived by her children, Meredith Lynn McGill-Cole (Stenson) of Knoxville, TN and Christopher Alexander McGill (Ashley) of Bremen, GA, her two beloved grandchildren, Price Alexander McGill and Elizabeth Jane (Ellie) McGill, both of Bremen, GA and by her sister, Virginia Branum of Knoxville, TN. She is also survived by sister-in-law, Mrs. Julia Branum of Chattanooga and by two nieces and three nephews and eight great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lou and Marvin Branum; brother, Jay Branum; sister, Olivia Patterson and nephew, Charlie Patterson. Her close Athens friends were family to her. We thank them for their unselfish love and support to her for over fifty years.
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Linda was born in Chattanooga on February 18, 1941, the oldest of four children. She attended Chattanooga City Schools and graduated from City High School in 1959. She completed her BS Degree at MTSU in 1963. She went on to complete her MS degree at Tusculum College and her Ed. S. degree at LMU, finishing both degrees while working fulltime in the Athens City Schools.
Linda was a lifelong educator who loved her students, her coworkers and the friendships that grew from these experiences. She was employed in Murfreesboro City Schools, Oak Ridge City Schools, McMinn Co. Schools and served over 40 years with the Athens City Schools. She was an English teacher at Athens Jr. High and later the assistant principal there. She then went on to the ACS Central Office serving in numerous administrative positions. After her retirement, she continued to work part-time,up until her death, in the central office, focusing on School Coordinated Health Services, and other assignments. Education and young people were her life’s work.
Linda loved movies, reading listening to music as well as performing musical numbers and even acting in plays, from time to time. She instilled that love of the arts in both her children and grandchildren, who are all very musical and performers today. She was an excellent cook and shared her dishes with friends, neighbors and coworkers. She loved entertaining and had many functions in her home with friends and the hosting of many family gatherings. Everyone was welcomed and well fed in her home. Particularly, her beloved Bridge Club (you know who you are)!
Active in many civic groups in Athens, Linda formed the Athens Arts Council in her living room in 1980. She served on the Board of the Athens Public Library, she served as President of the Athens Education Association, and served on many school and community committees too numerous to mention. She was an example especially to young women and men and former students of working hard, doing your best and never giving up. She saw the good in her students, encouraged them and mentored so many of them past their school years.She wasan avowed Democrat. She supported the rights of women and other disenfranchised citizens and joined the protest march at age 76 with women’s groups in the Knoxville area supporting the ME TOO Movement. Her implementation of the Nourish One Child Program was her way to give back to those children who needed care in the basic needs of life.
Linda served as choir director at Keith Memorial Methodist Church for 26 years, 1982-2008. Her church family supported her and herchildren through the years. As a single parent, this job sustained her during many difficult years.
A Celebration of Linda’s life will be held at Keith Memorial Methodist Church in Athens, TN at 1 pm on January 4, 2020. Officiating will be Rev. David Graybeal and Rev. Stella Roberts. A receiving of friends and reception will be held at the church after the service. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the following:
• Nourish One Child Program, c/o Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, PO Box 1, Athens, TN 37371;
• Athens Arts Council, PO Box 95, Athens, TN 37371;
• The E.G. Fisher Athens Public Library, 1289 Ingleside Avenue, Athens, TN 37303;
or the charity of your choice.