After graduating from Riverside in 1962 and earning her degree in English and French, Linda Marcel Lucas returned to Riverside briefly to teach. She married Ed Lucas, also a Riverside grad, and together they began literally living all over the world. Ed’s career took them to seven countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. In each of those places, Linda had an impact on the local population through her heart for service.
When Ed was on active duty in the military in Alabama and working in Akron, Linda was an ADC case worker for the welfare department. Several years later they began their 21 years of overseas postings for Goodyear, and Linda began serving the communities where they resided. A few examples are highlighted:
In Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), she discovered a small, one room “school” where an inexperienced and untrained local woman was attempting to teach the children to read. With Linda’s knowledge of French, she worked with the teacher and designed a basic curriculum for the students, plus provided the needed supplies.
While stationed in Indonesia, Linda taught future college scholars English to enable them to enter and complete their education at universities in the U.S. and Great Britain.
In Rome Linda organized a bazaar to benefit local charities and low-income shoppers. The event earned $10,000 that year after months of preparation.
Returning to Akron in 1995, Linda was a volunteer instructor for “Project Learn” in its efforts to teach adults to read. Linda’s client, a welder in his 50s, had hidden his inability to read, not only from his coworkers but from his family as well. Through patience and perseverance, he gained proficiency, and he and Linda were recognized as “Model Student/Teacher” for the entire program. He went on to become a board member and spokesperson for the program.
In retirement while living in Williamsburg, VA, Linda shifted her focus by training as a Cooperative Extension Master Gardner and then co-chairing the Therapeutic Gardening program for the organization. In addition to conducting projects at senior centers, Alzheimer’s centers, assisted living centers, etc., Linda lectured on therapeutic gardening for other Master Gardener organizations. She served as President of the County Extension MG unit and was selected “Master Gardener of the Year” in 2007. She also served as a garden guide for Colonial Williamsburg.
In 2021 the Lucases relocated to Great Barrington, Maine, to be closer to their daughter in the New York City area and to their son, his wife and four grandchildren in the Boston area.