FULL HOUSE – The main hall at Harrigan Centennial Hall is packed for the first day of the Southeast Conference Wednesday. At the conclusion of the conference, state Rep. Dan Ortiz, Ketchikan independent; Rep. Sara Hannan, Juneau Democrat; and Sen. Jesse Kiehl, Juneau Democrat, spoke about the need to protect school and ferry systems from further budget reductions.  (Sentinel Photo)

Linda Houghton Dies; Former Sitkan was 77

Linda Houghton

Linda Marie Delaney Houghton, a Sitka High School graduate of 1960, died July 23, 2019, in Floressant, Missouri. She was 77.
    She was born April 28, 1942, in Billings, Montana, the daughter of Roy and Edith (Fritzlan) Delaney. Her father was with the Civil Aeronautics Administration (predecessor of the FAA) and transferred to the Mt. Edgecumbe CAA base so Linda and her younger siblings could go to the accredited high school in Sitka. She flourished, making many lifelong friends here. She was valedictorian of the 1960 class, and also won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow prize for the state of Alaska, traveling to the White House to meet First Lady Mamie Eisenhower and then Vice President Richard Nixon.
    “She spent the remainder of her life in the lower 48, but at heart she was always an Alaskan,” a son wrote. “She loved coming back for the five-year class reunions, which she did for every one between 1985 and 2010.”
After high school Linda became the first member of her family to go to college, earning a bachelor of arts degree in French from UCLA, in 1966, and a master’s in French from California State University-Long Beach, in 1973. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
    She married Howard William “Bill” Houghton on March 18,  1962, and was a stay-at-home mom and an occasional substitute French teacher.
    She was a voracious reader, and a frequent visitor to museums of all kinds. She also enjoyed stamp collecting, gardening, foreign languages and travel.
She was multilingual, fluent in French and German and familiar with Japanese. She and others in her family were involved in short track speedskating, and in 1979 Linda provided translation for the Japanese skaters in a short track event in the United States.
    Linda’s husband of 57 years died on March 3 this year.
She is survived by sons Douglas and Bruce of Florissant; daughter Heidi of St. Louis, Missouri; sisters Vernice of St. Helens, Oregon, (Sitka High class of 1962) and Mavis of Las Vegas, Nevada; and brother Keith Delaney of Corvallis, Oregon, (Sitka High class of 1964).
Burial will be in the Parnell/Houghton family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.

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