Linda Wightman Fleming died peacefully in the early morning hours of April 12 after a valiant, more-than-eight-year battle with advanced uterine cancer.
Linda was born on March 15, 1942, in Provo, UT to Grant Fuller Wightman and Norma Lewis Wightman. She was educated at the Provo City schools and was an honor graduate of BYU in homemaking education.
She married J. Clifton Fleming, Jr. (Cliff) on May 27, 1964 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. In late August of that year, they packed their scant belongings into an old car and drove to Washington, D.C. where Cliff began law school and Linda began teaching at George Washington High School in Alexandria, VA.
Linda found herself on the front line of Southern school integration, a dynamic for which her life in Provo had provided her with no experience. Nevertheless, the genuine earnestness and good will which emanated from her allowed her to be an effective homemaking teacher to an interracial student body. She taught for three years and was department chair for two of those years.
Linda and Cliff then moved to Seattle where he began law practice. She felt satisfied with her teaching experience and wanted to apply her education to actually running a home and nurturing children on the basis of the best contemporary knowledge. She did that with gusto for the rest of her life.
In August 1974, Linda and Cliff moved their four children to Orem and Cliff began teaching at BYU Law School. In August 1977, they moved their now five children to Nairobi, Kenya where Cliff taught law at the University of Nairobi. There, Linda managed the household and children in a very different country and returned to education work as a part-time preschool teacher.
They returned to Orem until 1985 when they and five of their six children moved to Washington, D.C. for Cliff to spend a year as an adviser to the IRS Chief Counsel’s Office. They went back to Orem and BYU in 1986 and Linda practiced expert and intense family management and church service until February 2011 when she and Cliff went to Vienna, Austria for four months while Cliff held a Fulbright post at a Viennese University. They then came back to Orem and BYU.
Although Linda spent most of her years after 1967 in child rearing and family management, she was also involved as a volunteer in the Orem public schools and served as President of the Orem High School PTA. In addition, she was always active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Among other things, she served as a Ward Young Women’s President in Bellevue, WA and as Stake Relief Society President in the Orem, Sharon Stake.
Linda also managed to be a world traveller. In addition to living in Kenya and Austria, she lived in Hungary and Australia, travelled widely in Europe, visited Taiwan and Mainland China, and travelled extensively in the United States.
She is survived by her husband of almost 55 years, her six children—Allison (Kelley Yearout), Erin, Anne, Matthew (Rachelle), Stephen (Lee Ann), and Michael—ten grandchildren—Casey, Madeleine, Bridget, Isaac, Gillian, Estella, Owen, Lillian, Meghan, and Felicity—and her sisters, Carolyn Jensen and Maureen Keitz.
To the end, Linda was fiercely devoted to her family and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. To her family, she was truly a force of nature and although they are confident of a sweet reunion with her in the fullness of time, her passing leaves a void that is exquisitely felt.
Linda’s family expresses deep appreciation to the caregivers from Canyon Home Care and Hospice and Treasured Moments Home Care, all of whom provided tender and indispensible service to Linda during her final months.
Funeral Services will be Saturday, April 20 at the Sharon 3rd and 4th ward building, 430 South 700 East, Orem at 11 a.m. Friends may visit with the family Friday, April 19 at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 at the chapel, prior to the services. Interment will be in the East Lawn Hills Memorial Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed to the family at SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to LDS Humanitarian Services.
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