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Linda S. Cothren Burkart

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Following a lengthy illness, a woman of great faith, Linda S. Burkart of Blue Mounds, Wis., departed this earth to be with her savior on Thurs- day, Aug. 8, 2019. Linda was born in Hayesville on Oct. 11, 1958, the daughter of Thomas J. Cothren and Nora Evelyn McCray Cothren.

Linda overcame a childhood in Appalachian poverty. Grow- ing up, her home

lacked the modern conveniences we take for granted such as running water, in- door plumbing and central heat. She began school at a very young age. Following her high school graduation, Linda enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. Although she was only seventeen, she completed the rigorous training program at U.S. Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J. and was stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The U.S. Coast Guard rec- ognized this amazing young woman’s intelligence and drive. She advanced quickly in rank attaining the status of a petty officer second class in less than four years. She ac- complished this with only “on the job” training, a rare feat. At this time, she also met her future husband and fellow U.S. Coast Guardsman, Andrew G. Burkart. They were married in Ketchikan on Dec. 1, 1977 and would be inseparable throughout the rest of her life.

Following her honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard, the couple moved to Sheboygan, Wis. There, Andy joined the family insurance agency and completed college. Upon his graduation, Linda began her studies. She earned degrees from the University of Wiscon- sin-Sheboygan Extension, Silver Lake College and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Linda became a licensed clinical social worker.

Linda enjoyed the out- doors and was an accomplished hunter of bear, deer and turkey. Linda and Andy also own a farm in western Kentucky that is managed for wildlife habitat. She was always devoted to her dogs and is very much missed by her current ones, Taku and Arnie.

Linda also especially enjoyed travel, particularly RV- ing around the United States. Linda and Andy were also able to visit many countries abroad.

Linda is survived by her husband of 42 years, Andy, of Blue Mounds; and sisters, Caroline Mitchell of Mary- land and Sandra Almond of North Carolina. Those who knew her will also miss the kindness and concern she always had for others.

A private memorial service will occur at a later date.

A memorial fund has been established in Linda’s name with the State Bank of Cross Plains, Mount Horeb, Wis. This fund will provide assis- tance in clothing, shoes and other items needed for other Appalachian school children in need in Linda’s honor.

Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997