Linda Jean (Dawson) Van Dyke
Linda passed away on January 9, 2019 with her family by her side.
Linda was born in Los Angeles in 1955 and moved to Carpinteria with her parents and four siblings in 1962 after spending summers camping at the Carpinteria State Beach.
Growing up in the foothills of Carpinteria was filled with a lot of freedom and adventure – riding bikes down Foothill Road to Mill’s Drugs or Tino’s, hiking up the creek to the “Burnt Down House” above La Mirada, long days at the beach and hanging with friends and her 6 siblings.
She attended St. Joseph’s School up through 8th grade and graduated from Carpinteria High School in 1973. She was involved in cheerleading, guitar and horseback riding and has many lifelong friends from her time in Carpinteria.
During these years, the family spent their summer vacations at Ripplewood in Big Sur, CA where the adventures continued and more friendships developed. Sadly, in 1972, Linda lost her Mom, Kathleen Dawson, and Linda and her older sister Donna became “Moms” to the 5 younger kids.
Linda’s close friend in high school, Donna (Simms) Stevenson, lived around the corner and Donna’s Mom, Neda Simms, became a surrogate mom to Linda in that challenging time, and Neda continued to be “Mom” to Linda and her family for all of her life.
The ultimate Executive Assistant, she developed those skills at jobs with SB Cottage Hospital, McGowan Guntermann, the American Cancer Society in Lompoc (where she coordinated the initial Relay for Life event), and spent her final 20 years working at Coast Hills Credit Union.
She also employed these organizational skills with her volunteering efforts, including being a PTA Mom, Girl Scout Troop leader, Water Polo, Volleyball and Football supporter for her kids, and with the Rancho Vino fundraisers.
Linda was married to the love of her life, Marty Van Dyke, for 35 years (after meeting when Linda was a reserve officer with the Santa Barbara Police Dept).
Upon their marriage, Linda became a step mom to Charlie (who was 4 years old) and subsequently welcomed three more children – Katie Steltzer (Ben), Amanda Van Dyke and Andrew Van Dyke (Alexis). Linda and Marty are now grandparents to eight.
Linda was a dear and cherished friend to many, and a surrogate Mom to many more – her house (and her energy) were the hub of many BBQ’s and celebrations, usually with Marty cooking and Linda being the planner and social butterfly.
Linda and Marty and family enjoyed many camping trips to El Capitan and Refugio State Beach Parks, Yosemite, Big Sur, Cachuma and Lake Casitas, often accompanied by extended family and friends. Linda was a longstanding member in her local Bunco group, the WIN (Women’s Investment Network) and the Pier Fitness pool group. She also loved board and card games – Pinochle, Poker and Scrabble.
Education was a priority to Linda, and she proudly received her AA degree from Allan Hancock College in 2014. At the ceremony, she was recognized for having the longest span between first year and her graduation, but she was bound and determined to finish (and she did)!
Her Catholic faith was also important to Linda, and she was a long time parishioner of the La Purisima Parish in Lompoc. Last May, as part of a trip to Europe, she visited both the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes in France. She also had family trips to both Flagstaff AZ and Disneyland (with the grandkids) in 2018.
Linda experienced her first heart issues in 2003 and has been under a cardiologist’s care since that time; this did not slow her down until the last few months of her life. Since her initial diagnosis, she has lived her life to the fullest – she spent many a weekend visiting with friends and family (out of town) and with trips to CO for her grandchildren’s birthdays.
The family wishes to thank the doctors who provided great care to Linda over the years – Dr. Cory Gusland (Lompoc), Dr. Joseph Ilvento (Santa Barbara) and Dr. Michele Hamilton and staff at Cedars Sinai (Los Angeles).
Linda is survived by her husband Marty and four children, her six siblings, many devoted friends and extended family, and her dog Sophie.
A rosary will be held at the Starbuck-Lind Mortuary in Lompoc, CA on Thursday, January 17th at 6pm
The funeral mass will be held at La Purisima Conception, Lompoc on Friday, January 18th at 10am, with burial at Lompoc Cemetery and reception following at the Parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association.