“I grew up in a small town, and I grew up in a place where your whole world revolved around friends, family, school, and church, and sports.” — Kenny Chesney
When you live in a small town, everyone knows everyone else. And when you call this small town your forever home, that’s not a bad thing.
Linda Marshall, a resident of Slater for many years, loved her life in a small town.
Marshall died this summer after a fierce battle with cancer. A battle that she fought hard and long, and what she left to her community wasn’t all that surprising.
After being diagnosed six years ago, Marshall decided to not let cancer define who she was. When her hair started falling out because of harsh treatment, she shaved her head. When it began to grow back this summer, she shaved it again. She said it kept her cool during the hot, humid summer months before her death.
Marshall was the type of person that was always helping others. One way that she could help others was studying to be a nurse. Even when she was undergoing treatment for the cancer that was taking over her body, she continued her nursing studies.
Family and friends were a vital part of her life. It is said that she loved spending time with her family and friends, and that included her furry friends.
It was those furry friends — two dogs and two cats — when times got tough that provided her with unconditional love and comfort. She had a special connection with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. That was where she rescued her family of cats and dogs. After her death this year, the two dogs found forever homes and the two cats were returned to the shelter to be adopted into forever homes as well.
Marshall called Slater her home and was active in the community and library. She enjoyed helping with the annual July 4th parade during the town celebration. She enjoyed spending time in the Nelson City Park during the weekend celebration. It is said that she probably would have enjoyed the fireworks more, if they hadn’t wwfrightened her dogs so much.
When Marshall died, her family donated her T-shirts to the Slater Public Library. Jennifer Gogerty, librarian, and her helpers and volunteers and most of the 55 Tween Book Club, decided to come up with a good use for the T-shirts.
“I contacted the Animal Rescue League to see if there was something we could do in Linda’s memory,” told Gogerty. “They approved a pattern to have the summer reading group construct dog toys. We cut the T-shirts up into strips and then braided the strips together, that made a sturdy dog chew toy.”
It only seemed fitting that something of Marshall’s be made at the library to benefit dogs at a shelter that she had held close to her heart for so many years.
One of the volunteers at the Slater Public Library said of Marshall, “Linda was a beautiful positive person. In good times and bad, she would smile and try to find the silver lining.”