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Linda Rachel Winstead

09/13/1939 - 06/21/2024

Linda Rachel Watkins Winstead was born in Loudon, Tennessee to James and Blanche Watkins.  She completed a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tennessee and a Master’s Degree from Virginia Tech. She resided in Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia but spent the last forty seven years residing in Arizona.

Linda was a teacher who taught a variety of subjects, to include French, English, Drama and competitive speech.  Her dedication to teaching and her ability to inspire changed the lives of hundreds of students over the course of her nearly forty year career. She spent the last five years of her career building the talented and gifted program for Higley Elementary School and she took great pride in changing education in that community.

Linda was a creative and talented woman. She was a wonderful cook, a talented seamstress and a lovely hostess. She loved making things with her hands and made beautiful handiwork with knitting, crocheting and embroidery. She particularly loved tiny things and made many beautiful miniature dollhouses and furniture. She was an avid reader who often read a book a day in her retirement. She was a lover of trivia who could answer every Jeopardy question. She was a parishioner at St. Timothy’s Catholic church in Mesa, where she enjoyed being a lector and proclaiming the word of God.

Linda left her physical body on June 21st, 2024. She died at home with those who loved her. She had had a rapid decline and is now at rest in the arms of her Lord and Savior. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, John Clayton Winstead, Jr, her son James Clayton Winstead (Donna), her daughter Rachel Sanchez (Mike), her beloved grandchildren Olivia Winstead, Maria Sanchez (Ed) and Michael Sanchez, her sister Sarah Bledsoe (Roy), her sister Rebecca Brewster (David) and many nieces.

Funeral services for Linda will be held at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, Mesa, AZ on July 19th, 2024. She will be laid to rest in her family plot in Loudon, Tennessee with her beloved parents and other members of her family.



Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


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