Linda's Story

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BREWSTER, MA: Martha “Linda” Stalter Corbett died on the morning of December 28, 2015 in Harwich, Mass., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She would have turned 75 four days later.

The first baby born in Council Grove, Kansas, on Jan. 1 in 1941 (and the first child of Stanley and Ellen Stalter) Linda continued to forge a life of firsts—including being named valedictorian of her class of more than 600 at Topeka High School.

After earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Linda moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. She was an editorial assistant at Look Magazine and then an assistant editor for McGraw-Hill.

Though she often traveled to Kansas to visit her parents and adored younger brother, Steve (never failing to return from cattle country without a Samsonite suitcase packed with steaks), Linda remained a New York City resident for several years. She met the love of her life, Dave, there at an apartment party due to a case of mistaken identity. She delighted in telling the story of arriving at the party with plans to connect with a blind date named David, and encountering her future husband instead. “Are you David from Northwestern?” she asked. He answered “yes” and the rest is a 50-year history. They were married in 1968.

After a stint living in New Jersey, where Linda worked as a reporter for the Irvington Herald, the couple moved to Andover, Mass., where they would remain for more than two decades, raising their son, David (whom Linda called her “treasure”), and becoming an integral part of the community. Their home on Abbot Street was considered a “port in the storm” for many of David’s friends, who were welcomed warmly by Linda at any time of day or night.

That same warmth was evident in her love for second (yet older) “son” Tony Pace, who as a teenager lived part-time with the family, through the A Better Chance program. As far as Linda was concerned, Tony and his then-girlfriend (and eventual wife) Anita, also the product of the ABC program—and, later, their two daughters, Jillian and Jessica—are forever part of the family.

While in Andover, Linda served as a reporter, assistant editor and photographer at the Andover Townsman. Later, when son David attended Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield for secondary school, she accepted a role there as director of publications.

Dave and Linda eventually left Andover for Charlestown, Mass., and later settled at their home in Brewster, Mass.

Never one to seek the spotlight for herself, Linda worked behind the scenes for many worthy causes throughout her lifetime. These included Hocagee House, a center for at-risk youth in Cranford, N.J.; A Better Chance; Andover American Field Service; the U.S.S. Constitution Museum; Ron Burton Training Village; the Northwestern University Alumni Association; South Church of Andover and several political campaigns. Linda also played a vital and long-term role in helping husband Dave launch and make successful his Boston company, New Directions, Inc.

She was an avid reader and bridge player; a Scrabble master and crossword-puzzle whiz. She loved paddle tennis, train travel and her Andover Soup Group. She was a dog-lover (especially of her first “baby,” the golden retriever Charity) and an enthusiastic dancer. She made a killer pasta salad and never failed to send her son a Valentine’s Day heart cake. She was fascinated by genealogy, and spent months tracing the family’s roots. She ironed the bed sheets for guests and rolled around on the floor playing with her grandsons. It is widely agreed she had the “best smile” and never met a stranger.

She was a light and she will be missed.

Remarking about life’s absurdities during her father’s own battle with Alzheimer’s, Linda often said, “You have to laugh.” Were she here, she would surely urge her friends and family to remember the good times and the laughter.

Linda is survived by her husband, David D. Corbett, of Brewster, Mass.; son, David C. Corbett, daughter-in-law, Sarah McAdams Corbett and grandsons, Finn and Lucas Corbett, all of Acton, Mass; brother, Steven, of Manhattan, Kan.; and many cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Her beloved parents, Stanley and Ellen, of Topeka, Kan., preceded her in death.

Memorial contributions may be made in Linda’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org/donate) or to A Better Chance of Andover (www.andoverabc.org/donate).

Notes of comfort may be made to her family at www.MorrisOConnorBlute.com.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, at South Church in Andover. A lunch will follow at the Lanam Club.
Published on  January 14, 2016
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