Linda Florence (Smashey) Holden passed into eternity with her Lord on June 14, 2022 at the age of 84 in Topeka, KS. A visitation will be held on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 from 1:00-2:30 pm at Penwell-Gabel, 1321 SW 10th Ave, Topeka, KS.
Linda was born on September 23, 1937 in Louisiana, MO to parents Carl and Isabelle (Smith) Smashey. She was preceded in death by her parents and sibling, Donna (Smashey) Gryder, and stillborn granddaughter, Bailey Holden.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Harold Gene Holden; children, Kendall (Kevin) Helt of Topeka, KS, Jay (Debbie) Holden of Branson, MO, Amber Holden of San Leandro, CA, Carl John (Tisara) Holden of Leawood, KS, Davis (Christina) Holden of Topeka, KS; twenty-two grandchildren, Justin (Anna) of Lenexa, KS, Jeremy (Amber) of Plano, TX, Andrew of Tulsa, OK, Lydia of Leawood, KS, Julia (Marc) of Manhattan, KS, Alisa, Verity, and Bethany of Topeka, KS, Ethan (Rachel) of Gladstone, MO, Konrad (Ashley) of Lenexa, KS, Hannah and Henry of Branson, MO, Felix of San Leandro, CA, Tobias, Josiah, John Carl, and Caleb of Leawood, KS, Sophia, Madeline, Liam, Elliana, and Finlay of Topeka, KS; and six great-grandchildren, Holden of Lenexa, KS, Lincoln and Emmett of Plano, TX, Oakley and Amelia of Lenexa, KS, and Alice of Gladstone, MO; siblings, John (MaryAnn) Smashey of Bolivar, MO, Jan (Paul) Bass of Willard, MO, Jo Ellen (Stu) Levens of Bowling Green, MO.
Linda grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and as the oldest of 5 children she was like a mother to her siblings. At the age of 12 she trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior after hearing the Good News of the Gospel at nearby West Park Baptist Church where she enjoyed attending from that young age. She remembers riding the St. Louis streetcar to school, and remained in the family home until leaving for Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri where she received an Associate of Arts Degree. It was there that she met Harold, and the two would be married a year later on August 28th, 1959. Their family, including 5 children, would ultimately spend most of their years in the Topeka area with 15 years in Berryton, and over 40 years living within Topeka. As their family began to grow, Linda invested most of her time in raising and caring for their children in the home over the course of 37 years. She also became a mother’s advocate volunteering as a La Leche League leader, helping other mothers to care for their children well. She would go on to begin homeschooling their youngest children at a time when curriculum resources were limited. While useful to her as a teacher in the home, her love for words and English would be even more evident in her favorite past-time and in part-time work. Linda was an avid scrabble player, winning many matches, and was always ready to enjoy a game of scrabble with any who would play. In part-time work for many years she used these skills as a proof-reader for several area court reporters and proofread depositions from home. She also had a love for music, and in particular hymns. She enjoyed singing hymns and eventually taught herself how to play the piano to the point that she could play many hymns. Together Harold and Linda enjoyed traveling to Bluegrass music festivals in the region.
She was always fully present when visiting with others. She shared their emotion and responded in just the right way for the moment. She embodied “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). She enjoyed reading her black leather bound King James Version Bible and over the years would read from it to the children, grandchildren or in her own quiet time. Written on the inside cover were the words from a well known song “I have decided to follow Jesus, tho’ no one joins me, still I will follow, The world behind me, the Cross before me, No turning back, no turning back”.
Linda will be remembered for her faith, generosity, thankfulness, contentment, being calm under pressure, and finding joy in meeting the needs of others. She was always ready with an endless supply of stickers for grandchildren to use, or toys to play with. She enjoyed providing housing for church conference speakers, family, friends, friends of her children, and even strangers at times. She was well prepared to provide what they needed to make them feel at home. As the family she leaves behind, we are sad to lose her and yet thankful she can now be the one who is at rest, feels at home, and has every need met (John 14:2-3).