We Remember

HEINRICH, Emma Linda (née Strachan)

1939 – 2021

On January 15, 1939, Emma Linda Strachan was born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia to Zina Rose Rita Antonelli and William Strachan.

Given her roots on Canada’s West Coast, the self-described “child of the sea” grew up surrounded by bald eagles, ancient rainforests and ocean life.

Linda, as most people knew her, moved to Vancouver to train at St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing. She received her diploma in 1960 and accepted employment as a registered nurse where she trained.

It was at St. Paul’s Hospital where, during one of her shifts, she would first meet her future husband Jack (the love of her life), who confesses Linda’s radiant smile instantly won him over.

They were married in 1962, and two years later the couple, along with their first child, a baby boy named Paul, drove a rental pickup truck north to Prince George to begin a new life together. Shortly after, their daughter Kim was born.

In 1977, Linda helped establish the Prince George Weavers and Spinners Guild (known today as the Prince George Fiber Arts Guild), while her husband Jack pursued a career in law.

Her husband’s eventual interest in politics took her family to Victoria where she continued on with her interest in textile arts, completing her Master Weaver’s certification — which involved a “comprehensive study of flax and linen” with the Guild of Canadian Weavers — and teaching weaving workshops in Canada and the U.S.

Becoming a certified Master Weaver would lay the foundation for Linda’s book Magic of Linen: Flax Seed to Woven Cloth (1992) with a second edition Linen: From Flax Seed to Woven Cloth (2010), making her a respected authority on the topic.

“Crisp, impeccable linen. I am captured by its beauty, texture and enduring quality,” Linda once wrote of what she often referred to as her “magnificent obsession.”

Linda and Jack retired to Kelowna in 1993, where they would settle into the Village at Gallagher’s Canyon. There, she spent years in her studio weaving tartan blankets for family members with Scottish heritage. These blankets, no doubt, will continue to provide comfort for years to come.

How will Linda be remembered? She was known for her constant curiosity, her wonder at the world and her optimism. She genuinely cared to hear people’s stories, and she loved family and friends unconditionally.

She was a devoted wife, mother and Nonna to her four grandchildren, all of whom are recipients of lovingly woven sleigh blankets.

Linda will also be remembered for her sweet laughter, her love of lavender and chocolate and the extraordinary artwork she produced over the years, paintings inspired by a six-month backpacking trip around the world that she took with Jack when they were in their late 50s.

She had a favourite fridge magnet that read: “I’m too much fun to be kept at home.” No surprise, then, that she was a great traveller — conquering the West Coast Trail, chasing numerous adventures in Europe and enjoying frequent trips to her beloved Maui.

Linda was someone who cared deeply about the plight of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. At every opportunity, she made an effort to learn more about their communities, including on her 70th birthday trip to Haida Gwaii where she was honoured to meet with local artists who were weavers of cedar and carvers of argillite.

Her last words of advice to her four grandchildren? “Always be curious and kind. But if you have to choose, always be kind.”

Linda is survived by her loving husband Jack of 59 years, her son Paul and partner Jane, her daughter Kim and husband David, four grandchildren (Jordan, Makena, Emma and Jackson), her brother-in-law Bob Heinrich and family, and brother-in-law Harvey Grigg (who was married to her late sister Margaret) and family.

A heartfelt thanks to Linda’s community at the Village of Gallagher’s Canyon who went above and beyond during her final weeks, as well as to the Kelowna Hospice House where Linda passed peacefully on June 24.

Linda’s husband and children would also like to acknowledge family physician Dr. Josee Lesperance, a humanitarian in the truest sense of the word, whose care and service was exceptional and will never be forgotten.

If you would care to make a donation on Linda’s behalf, her charity of choice is Indspire.ca — a reputable registered national Indigenous charity designed to support the education of Inuit, Métis and First Nations people in Canada.

A private celebration of life will be held for Linda this Fall with family and close friends.

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Indspire Link: Indspire.ca




  • MP Tracy Gray says:

    I am very sorry for your loss and wish your family strength during this difficult time.
    Tracy Gray, Member of Parliament, Kelowna – Lake Country

  • Valerie Berenyi says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Linda (my friend Kim’s beloved mom) several times and once sitting beside her on a flight from Calgary to Kelowna. She was a lovely, gracious woman and an engaging conversationalist. She will be terribly missed.

  • Cathy Watson says:

    It was a gift to know Linda. Her warmth, love and curiosity lives on in her children and grandchildren. My condolences to them all as they grieve this loss.

  • Sheila Carey says:

    It was a pleasure to know Linda as a fellow weaver in both Prince George and Kelowna. She taught us well.

  • Laura says:

    I met Linda as a new weaver in 1975 or 6 and received great encouragement to continue on with the Guild of Canadian Weavers master weaver program. My heartfelt condolences to her family.

  • Susan Harvey says:

    I wish to extend my condolences on the passing of Linda. I know that she was instrumental in encouraging my weaving and fostered a love of linen and fine finishing work. Linda was not only a Guild of Canadian Master Weaver but also our past Test Administrator and helped candidates onto higher levels of weaving excellence. I am the current GCW Test Administrator and feel honoured to have known her as a friend, a weaver and can’t thank her enough for the difference she made in my life.

  • Helen Moore says:

    I was so sorry to read of Linda’s passing.. I also grew up in Prince Rupert and did my nursing education at St. Paul’s School of Nursing. starting in 1962. Linda was a mentor to all the young students and was an inspiration to us. She was a wonderful caring nurse a role model for those of us just starting out. I now live in Castlegar & was please to see the the acknowledgement for Dr. Lesperance. . She was a family physician here for some years and was loved by all who knew her,

  • Janice Dierker says:

    Jack, Paul, and Kim and your families,
    Please accept my condolences on the passing of your dear mama bear. The first thing that pops in my mind is her radiant smile and her laughter. The memories she spent her life creating will give you comfort.

  • Catherine Galliford says:

    My condolences to this wonderful family. My memories of Mrs. Heinrich are of her allowing all of the local kids to hang out in her swimming pool. She did so with a beautiful smile!

  • Kelsie Campbell says:

    I am sorry for your loss
    Linda was my neighbor and good to my children at a difficult time
    God Bless.

  • Alida Antonelli says:

    Dear Jack and Family,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Linda’s passing. She was a favourite cousin of mine and will remember her with love and fondness. May God bless her always and her remaining family🙏 My love and condolences to you all—

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