Linda Walrod, 67, Belmond, died unexpectedly on Dec. 26, 2020 at MercyOne Medical Center in Mason City. Services were held Jan. 1, 2020 at the Belmond United Methodist Church, with Pastor David Boogerd of the Belmond United Church of Christ officiating. Burial was in the Belmond Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Belmond Hospital.
Linda Sparks, the daughter of Donal and Donna (Ordorff) Sparks, was born Dec. 18, 1953 at Leon. She grew up on the family farm near Derby. Linda attended Morman Trail Schools, graduating with the Class of 1973. During her school years she was a cheerleader and played girls basketball.
Linda was united in marriage to Steve Walrod on Sept. 30, 1978 at the Belmond UCC. They were blessed with son Jason and daughter Emily.
Linda and Steve made their home in Belmond, raised their children, and spent the next 42 years of their life together.
Linda relished her roles as wife, mom and grandma. She looked forward to any occasion that included her family and cherished times spent with her parents and sisters Sharion and Rita. Her family was always a focus regardless of her other roles and obligations.
Linda had a terrific work ethic and was meticulous in every job. She had been employed at Belmond Labs, Belmond Health Care Center, as a part-time librarian at the public library, and for many years was secretary of the St. John and St. Olaf Lutheran Churches, and more recently was secretary of the Belmond UCC. There were times that Linda was employed at as many as four jobs at the same time.
She was a wonderful cook and baker. Over the years Linda had created countless one-of-a-kind cakes for weddings, confirmations, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions for customers. Her culinary skills and family recipes created many special times in the kitchen with her granddaughter Ella. If Ella wanted to spend time with grandma, Linda would put everything else on the back burner.
Linda never understood the word “no” and never slowed down. She was a proficient multi-tasker and held many roles in community organizations. She was active in the Women's Fellowship at church, Belmond Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, Belmond Food Pantry, and P.E.O. where she was currently president and served in other offices over the years. Linda and her sister Sharion had a great bond; often if one of them was involved in an organization or project, the other one joined the group. Linda looked forward to the camaraderie and competition of various 500 card clubs and spent many years pursuing this passion with teammate Sharion. She also looked forward to the occasional trek to a casino to try her luck at the penny and nickel slots and would often come out on the winning end of the excursion.
Linda relished anything that involved time with her family. She had been on memorable trips with them to Niagara Falls, Hawaii, Mackinaw Island, Las Vegas, the East Coast, and other destinations. For the past 20 years, a favorite get-away was with daughter Emily to spend a few days or maybe more at Galena, IL. She loved to dine out, attend the activities of her children, and in recent years, watch Ella dance in her annual recitals. Linda looked forward to the activiteis of her nieces and nephews as well. Linda kept track of everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions, including her yearly “28th Birthday” which she recently celebrated again on Dec. 18. Linda loved music; her tastes were quite diverse. She enjoyed Alabama, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Michael Bolton, Kenny Rogers, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, ZZ Top, and other country super stars. She and her family looked forward to attending live shows at the Iowa State Fair, the Surf Ballroom and other venues. Favorite memories include having her picture taken with Paul Revere and Kenny Rogers.
The family reflects fondly on Linda being their number one cheerleader; her giggly and goofy personality; her unselfish love for others; her ability to place the focus on their world and not hers; her trustworthy and loving ways; her occasional stubborn streak and determination sometimes to a fault; and her boundless concern for the well-being of her family and friends. They will miss that glance from her beautiful eyes, her subtle throat clearing, or her using their full names when they had crossed her mild temperament.
Those left to cherish the memory of a life well lived included Linda's husband Steve of Belmond; son Jason (Jennifer) Walrod and their daughter Ella of Belmond; daughter Emily Walrod of Waverly; sisters and their families Sharion (Stephen) Hinman of Belmond and Rita (Craig) Stubbe of Humeston; and sister-in-law Janet Sparks of Osceola.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents (2006); her brother Jerry (2015): and her mother- and father- in-law.