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Linda Jane Sunderland

July 17, 1939 January 23, 2019
Linda Jane Sunderland
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Obituary for Linda Jane Sunderland

STAYTON—Following an active life of dedication to her family and community, Linda Sunderland died at age 79 on January 23, 2019, at her beloved home on the Santiam River.
Linda Jane Kendrick was born on July 17, 1939, in San Fernando Valley, California, to Arleigh and Annie (Moore) Kendrick. She grew up in Salem and graduated from South Salem High School in 1957. Linda kept in contact with her classmates over the years and would meet with them for lunch once a month. She met her husband, James “Jim” Sunderland, through friends while working at Roberts Brothers Department store in downtown Salem. They married on November 10, 1957, and started their own commerical floor covering business in 1962. Linda and Jim were a true team and it was reflected in the relationships they made over their 56 years in business. Linda handled the bookkeeping, estimates, and meeting with contractors for their businesses, “Sunderland Floor Covering” and “SunCo Floors Inc.” She was a past president of the Salem Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and was a two-time board member/secretary of the Salem Contractors Exchange. After retiring, Linda and Jim traveled in their RV, then eventually bought property in 1990 along the Santiam River outside of Stayton. The Santiam Canyon became their home and Linda was incredibly passionate about serving her community.
Linda felt her most important job in life was as mother to her three children: Rick, David, and Lisa. A talented artist, she painted the walls of her children’s bedrooms with various storybook characters—all by hand. Later, she was very excited to become a grandmother. The couple’s riverfront home was the perfect gathering spot for family rafting and kayaking. Art was always one of Linda’s passions; she was a student of the western artist Dave Ewart and later found her calling with watercolor painting while taking lessons from Paul Toews in Stayton. She would exhibit her art and even won a few awards over the years.
Linda also loved volunteering in her community. She was a past president of the Marian Estates Auxiliary, dedicating herself to enriching the lives of the seniors who lived there. She was a regular at the Stayton-Sublimity Chamber Greeters Wednesday morning meetings, enjoying time with friends old and new. As a former business owner, she loved helping small business thrive and grow. This passion kept her motivated after the loss of her husband, Jim, on January 20, 2013, and after her diagnosis with glioblastoma cancer 19 months ago.
Throughout her life, Linda continued to advocate for small business, treating the people around her with the utmost kindness and offering help wherever it was needed. She was truly a dynamic, outgoing and courageous woman, and her passing on January 23, 2019, leaves a huge void for many.
Linda is survived by her son Kendrick “Rick” Sunderland and his former wife, Shannon Sunderland; son, David (Jackie) Sunderland; daughter, Lisa (James) Taaffe; her sister, Laurie (Dennis) Nielson. Grandchildren, Daniel Taaffe, Ryan Ward, Samantha (Chris) Whitehead, Kendra Sunderland, Jordan Sunderland, Evan Sunderland, Lynnsea (Jake) Stevenson, Dawson Sunderland, and many, many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers contributions in her name can be made to Marian Estates Auxiliary or River Fusion 22. Cards can be sent to the family at P.O. Box 679 Sublimity, OR 97385. Please visit to leave online condolences for the family.

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