With a heavy heart our family shares the news of the peaceful passing of Linda Brock on July 6, 2022, in Paris, Texas. She fought to the end and then left gracefully, ending as she had lived. Everyone who knew her used the word “inspiration” to describe the impact of her presence in their life. The mark she left on us will be her legacy. Strength. Compassion. Grace. And the power to put you in your place if you ever started feeling sorry for yourself. She was an amazing human being and a blessing from God put on earth for us.
Linda Sue Fick was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 21, 1942, to Elmer Edward and Grayce Vivian Kincaid Fick. She grew up in Kingwood and Trenton, MO. At age 4, she contracted polio and underwent therapies, surgeries, and rehabilitation efforts until the age of 13. Though Linda utilized crutches and braces to walk, it never impeded her from experiencing all life had to offer, including learning to drive a car. As a youth, she was active and involved in sewing, cooking, and gardening with her parents as well as with volunteer and philanthropic activities serving at charity and church events. She also played both piano and organ for her father’s Lutheran Church and her mother’s Methodist Church – yes folks that’s twice on Sundays!
After graduating high school in 1960, she attended Central Methodist College in Fayette, MO for two years and then Washington University in St. Louis where she received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 1964. She was active in the Wesley Foundation where she met David Carl Brock in 1963; the two wed the following year in St. Louis on August 30. She worked as an Occupational Therapist while David finished medical school and had their first child, Drew, in 1967. They moved to Bitburg, Germany, in 1970 where David served as a base Pediatrician in the United States Air Force; shortly thereafter they welcomed their second child, Karyn. In their three years in Germany, they traveled to many European countries – often with Drew and Karyn in tow – wandered cobblestone streets, took hundreds of pictures, and even climbed the Parthenon steps. Linda did those things with braces on her legs.
In 1973, they moved to Paris to begin their dream of raising a family, building a thriving medical practice, and establishing themselves in a vibrant north Texas community. In 1975, they welcomed their third child, Laura, much to the delight of Drew and Karyn.
The next 40 years were a whirlwind of activity. Linda ran the household with determination and efficiency; she gardened (growing many of her own vegetables), cooked virtually every meal from scratch, made clothing for herself and her family, ran children to school, band, gymnastics, dance, and church functions, and partnered lovingly with a very busy (some might say “hectic”) and creative husband. Most notably, she began quilting in the late 80’s and crafted over 30 family heirlooms that she gifted to children, grandchildren, and dear family friends. She was also a card shark of renown in all manner of games (except poker). Everyone wanted to be Linda’s bridge partner. She played with skill and finesse, adept and always a good sport, even when you she invariably defeated you. A prolific, lifelong reader of all sorts of literature, student of science, advocate for social justice, and champion of the under-served. And lest we forget, she was dubbed “Crossword Ninja” by her grandson because you could be stuck, and she would come up with the word you needed, something you had never heard of (she didn’t even need to see the puzzle!).
In her “free” time, she worked as an Occupational Therapist, volunteered with the Paris Housing Authority, participated in the League of Women Voters, stayed active as a member of the Paris Quilt Guild, and served as a Charter Member of the Paris PEO Chapter.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents Elmer and Grayce Fick and husband of 43 years, David. Linda spent most of the last 15 years of her life relegated to a wheelchair as a result of the culminating effects of post-polio syndrome, but she continued to live independently in her original Paris home (with the loving support of her helper-angels). People who knew Linda never really saw her disability. She didn’t complain; she just figured out how to do things differently, and with grace, always in all things she comported herself like we all wish we could.
The weekend before Linda’s passing the entire family gathered to celebrate the 80th year of the amazing person we called Mom, Grandma, Ladybug, Big Mama, New Grandma, and L-Bug. In attendance were her three children and their spouses: Drew and Lisha Brock of Arlington, TX; Karyn and Marc Alvarez of Carrollton, TX, and Laura and Kasey King of Humble, TX. Also joining the celebration were grandson Jackson Brock and significant other Leah Shelton and her daughter Layla, granddaughter Leyna Cromarty and husband Jules, and grandchildren Grayson Maynard, Konnor King, Khloe King, Ryan Alvarez, and Benjamin Pittman.
Linda was the consummate human. Throughout her life she faced many challenges and despite, or perhaps because of, these obstacles she continued to spread love, joy, and inclusiveness to all who knew her. In addition to being an accomplished occupational therapist, loving mother of three fairly good children, and long-suffering spouse of David C. Brock MD, she also managed to pursue an abundance of hobbies across almost every field of endeavor. Foremost of these, she lived as an advocate for women and champion of those who should be raised up. She served as a constant companion to many people as a guidepost for what Grace means.
At a future date, the family will hold a ceremony at First United Methodist Church in Arlington, TX. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make donations to “CitySquare Paris” at the website CitySquare.org, or by contributing to the fund of your choosing at Post-Polio.org.