Linda Brown Thompson
Linda Brown Thompson 75, of Topeka, passed away March 25, 2018 at Lexington Park Nursing & Post Acute Center. She was born February 20, 1943 in Topeka, Kansas, the first of three children born to Oliver and Leola Brown.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Thompson.
Linda graduated from Central High School in Springfield, Missouri and received certification in early childhood education from Kansas State University.
Linda’s passion for children lead her to become a Head Start teacher for several years. She went on to serve as Program Associate with The Brown Foundation where she assisted with the establishment of four libraries for preschool children. Within this role, she created “Reading with Ms. Linda” where she read to children at preschool centers in Topeka and Lawrence. She was also an entrepreneur teaching private music lessons in piano at her company, Sharps & Flats Studio. She taught students of various age groups to play piano and read music.
She was an accomplished and dedicated pianist for all the choirs at St. Mark’s African Methodist Episcopal Church in Topeka. She provided musical accompaniment at the church for nearly 40 years. This was also a church pastored by her father, the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, in the early 1950s. As a longstanding member of St. Mark’s, Linda chaired several project committees over the years and on occasion spoke at church programs, where she delivered litany’s she had written.
As one of the children of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, for whom the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in Brown v. Board of Education is named, Linda traveled the country with other family members lecturing about the history of this significant civil rights milestone. The Topeka case involved twelve schools. Four of those African American elementary schools, Buchanan, McKinley, Monroe and Washington, were segregated. Eight were segregated schools for white children, where African American parents attempted to enroll their children. During the time of the court proceedings, Linda was attending Monroe and McKinley elementary schools.
In recognition of Brown v. Board of Education, Linda along with her family and others involved in the cases and consolidated under Brown, were guests at the White House during the Clinton and Obama Administrations.
Linda had a quiet, loving nature that her family and friends will remember about her most. She was known as grandma or “Gigi” to some; or the "night owl" who stayed up all hours of the night talking with her "sister-bff" about everything or nothing at all. She loved and collected elephant figures.
This is our love letter to you Our daughter, Our mother, Our sister, Our aunt, Our grandmother and Our friend.
Linda is survived by her mother, Leola Brown Montgomery (Topeka, KS) and siblings Terry Brown (Lewis) Tyler (Topeka, KS) and Cheryl Brown Henderson (FL); a son Charles D. Smith II of Topeka, KS, and a daughter Kimberly A. Smith of Kansas City, MO; three grandsons, Donnell (Kari) Smith, Lawrence Smith, Andrew (Megan) Smith and three step grandchildren, Raheisha Gist, Karmen Nard and Conrad Nard; six great grandchildren, Sanaa, Aujanaa, Ka’Trina, Abraham, Andrew Christopher, Jakarta; six step great-grandchildren, Zariyah, Jendayah, Zeric, Zionne, Jakweli, Za’myah; a niece, Michelle (Harvey) Brooks, and a nephew Christopher (Vanessa) Henderson; four great nieces, Brandi (Bob) Gakinya, Deja Stewart, Ashley Brooks, Sofia Henderson; two great nephews, Gershon Brooks, Jaxson Henderson; and a great-great nephew, Bob Gakinya Jr. Her memory is left to be cherished by extended family members, beloved friends and church family.
Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel will be accepting donations for the Linda Brown Thompson Memorial Fund until such has been finalized. Thank you in advance for your donations.
- The family of Linda Brown Thompson