Linda Sue Shannon died in Norman, Oklahoma on January 8, 2022. Linda was born in Seminole Oklahoma on September 15, 1945. Although the details about her early life were not clear but Linda was always open about the fact that the disability that she acquired as an infant was the result of abuse at the hands of her biological father. She was separated from her sister and family when she was a year old. Linda lived in several foster homes and the Enid State School as a child. Some of her foster homes left her with good memories but many left her with bad memories and trauma. Her favorite foster parents were a loving couple who taught her to speak and walk. She often talked about how kind and encouraging they were. When her foster father found employment in another state the family was not allowed to take Linda with them. She never forgot them. Linda wanted people to know about these aspects of her life, not because she wanted them to pity her, but because she wanted them to understand what people with disabilities have experienced and she wanted them to understand the effects of child abuse and the ways systems could fail people. In 2002 she was found by her sister, Jimmie Lee Branch. They discovered that they had a shared love of animals, art and margaritas. They were able to see each other regularly until Jimmie Lee’s death.
Linda married the love of her life, Donald Robinson on September 30, 1980. They had many wonderful times together and Linda often talked about trips they had taken including a wonderful cruise to the Bahamas. Their relationship was complex and was not well supported by systems had influence over their lives. Linda and Don did not always live together but they were always connected and devoted to each other. Don was a source of support and care for Linda when other supports were not. Don and Linda were very active as advocates for people with disabilities and represented Oklahoma at National Council of Independent Living Council conferences in Washington DC. They were active in City and State groups and often advocated at the State Capitol. Linda continued to be an advocate after Don’s death in 2017. Linda remained close to Don’s family, and they were a source of support and a constant in her life.
Linda discovered her talent and passion for painting and spent many happy hours painting and creating in her art room. She loved to show people her art and often gifted them with a beautiful painting. During her life she won several awards for her paintings. She was a member of the Firehouse Art Center Healing Studio program. In January of 2023 several of her pieces were featured in a group show at the Firehouse.
It was impossible not to love Linda and she will be missed by her family, friends and community. She is survived by her brother and Sister-in-Law, Gary Paul and Margaret Robinson, Aunt and Uncle in Law Barbara and Kent Denton, and her cat Smokey. Her absence will be deeply felt by her friends, family and community including her longtime friend and supporter, Sue Favors; her advocacy partner in crime, Helen Kutz; her mentor and teacher, Jane Lawson from the Firehouse Art Center; the members of the Healing Art Studio; and her dear friends, Gayle Ray, Bear Benjamin, WC Holder, Debbie Peyton and her “Bios Family” Paige Dalton, Audrey Linn, Naomi Robinson, Hannah Young and Mary Katherine Long. Linda would want to give special thanks to Gary Paul and Margaret, Leslie Gillette of Variety Care, and Roseanne Percival.
A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at the Depot, 200 S. Jones, Norman, Oklahoma on Sunday, February 5th from 1:30-3:30pm.
Suggested memorial donations: Healing Art Studio at the Firehouse Art Center, The disability advocacy non-profit of your choice or The animal rescue non-profit of your choice