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Remembering Linda

picture of linda howard

Linda Howard began working at Masada on September 1, 1998.  During her 20+ years with the agency, Ms. Howard touched countless lives with her compassion, wisdom, faith and determination.  Her positive impact was felt by the families she served, as well as by those of us who had the good fortune to work alongside her.  Ms. Howard brightened up the office with music and laughter.  She faced her health challenges with equal parts grace and fortitude.  The world was a better place because Linda was in it.  We miss you, Ms. Howard!

picture of linda howard with a friend

As you know, Linda really was a force of nature and God gifted her with wisdom, wit, and lots of strong opinions which she readily shared!  Her ability to connect with people was beyond anyone else I knew, and she was able to talk "sense" with some our most challenging clients, caregivers, and other agency personnel. We were extremely fortunate to have her at Masada.

In Japan, in addition to structures or objects, sometimes individuals who warrant an elevated status are designated as "national treasures."  That is the way I have always thought of Linda.  She was truly our "national treasure" and "secret weapon" for us in TBS.

When no one else could connect with a child or a parent,  Linda could and would. She reached out and impacted the lives of all of us - not just our clients. I think Linda would want to be remembered by what we do to help others around us. She was a person of action who didn't just say she cared, she acted on what she believed would help others.

Ms. Howard’s memory will forever be stored in my mind. She might not be physically present, but her words rebound in my head every time I’m faced with a challenging client. Ma’s ability to engage our caregivers to participate in TBS treatment is worthy of The Nobel Prize. She was a source of inspiration both in my work and my personal life. Her smiles and warm hugs will forever be with me. She’s gone but never forgotten.

picture of linda howard

I just wanted to say that Linda was a pleasure to work with.  She always had a positive attitude all the way to the end; and she worked tirelessly for the youth and families she served.  She is greatly missed.

picture of linda howard

I remember meeting Linda many years ago, when she was in charge of Prospect House, one of the agency's group homes located in the South Bay area. I remember her opening the door, getting an incredibly warm welcome, and walking into an immaculate home with incredible smells coming from the kitchen. Linda gave a five star tour of the home, filled with content and well behaved residents. Over the years, the young men who resided there were usually the most well behaved, and all it would take is the simple question of "Do we need to speak to Linda?," to get compliance at the school site. With the agency's move into mental health, Linda used her skills to not only engage the children we serviced, but also the staff and referring parties. Linda worked with the Sheriff's Leadership Academy and was able to recruit clients and manage the site in collaboration with the school. In TBS, Linda could be heard laughing in the halls in the 108 building, her joyous voice welcoming and warming others. TBS was lucky to benefit from her ongoing morale building, her support, and passion to serve. She understood collaboration, teamwork, and unconditional love while still commanding accountability.

I can't believe it's been a year since she's been gone, and I hope we can continue to keep her spirit alive within us. I still feel like I can hear her heels walking down the halls, her voice lingering around the corner, the echoes of her laughter. I think in our challenging times, keeping her spirit close within our hearts is more important than ever. She was definitely one who knew that when the going got tough, the tough need to band together, stay tough, and keep going. I'm so lucky to have the privilege to have known her, to share my memories, and to keep her spirit going within me and the things that I think about with the agency. She was a truly remarkable woman, worthy of reflection, and continues to be inspirational. Thank you, Linda!

linda howard and the masada homes team

Ms. Howard helped many families over the years, albeit she complied with TBS program procedures, just like Frank Sinatra’s famous phrase, Ms. Howard did it her way. Ms. Howard had a way of impacting families from the start of services. When she spoke, no matter where, everyone listened attentively from school Principals to the most disruptive teenage clients. Ms. Howard did not intimidate anyone. Instead, Ms. Howard was genuine in delivering the TBS model which increased caregiver involvement.

For those of us that devoted much office time in Gardena during the past decade, you would remember often hearing a woman singing near the vending machine area. Of course, it was Ms. Howard. This was her way, at least in my opinion, how she appreciated the little things in life and celebrated her joy to the world by singing.

Ms. Howard was a mother to Alex Crooks, but a Ma’ to the TBS family. Thank you Alex for sharing her.

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