“Don’t mourn for me long; I’ll be the twinkle in your eye and the smile on your lip.” -Linda Charney
Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Linda Kay Porter Charney, passed away on March 25, 2019, from pancreatic cancer like her father before her.
Linda was born to Edna Earle Willoughby Porter and Julius Vinson Porter, Jr., on April 25, 1951. As the story goes, her early entrance into the world spoiled a much-anticipated fried fish family dinner, and nearly made a labor and delivery nurse out of her father.
Linda grew up surrounded by a loving family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents in Amarillo, Texas, before moving to southern Oklahoma. Despite having to overcome a serious learning difference, Linda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Central State University, and a Master of Arts degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She also earned a Certificate of Distinction in Child Development from Harvard University. Linda worked as an elementary school teacher in Shawnee, Oklahoma, while earning her master’s degree, gaining knowledge and experience that would lead her to be one of the Oklahoma Health Department’s first child development specialists.
In 1991, Linda became a Licensed Professional Counselor, and she was a registered play therapist and play therapist supervisor for nearly two decades. She used her expertise to teach, support and counsel young children from a wide array of backgrounds through various projects, one of which was Rhythm and Rhymes—a pre-school focused on the education and development of small children through music and play. Linda co-wrote the first Early Head start grant in Oklahoma County for Community Counseling Center in 1995. Most specially, Linda used her expertise to assist in the aftermath of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995, where she established a therapeutic nursery for the children of families affected by the bombing. In 2000, Linda went on to co-found Family and Children Consultants, Inc., with her husband Marc, where they each were able to positively affect the lives of countless individuals and children in a time of need.
Linda always claimed that her life’s crowning achievement was her nearly 45 years of marriage to Marc, and the birth of their two sons, Josiah and Jacob Charney.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Edna—who proudly lived to be 100—and JV Porter; parents-in-law Lou and Suzanne Charney; aunt Ruth Lowdon; cousin Michael Freistat; cousin Sidney Schnitz; cousin Harold “Buddy” Charney; and other family members and friends.
She is survived by her husband Marc Charney, their son Josiah Charney and his wife Lauren, and their children Lillian and Eleanor; son Jacob Charney and his wife Stephanie; her brother Mike Porter and his wife Paula; her nephew Ryan Porter; her nephew Clint Porter and his wife Leslie, and their children Grant and Wrenna; her niece Rachel Porter; and her niece Rebecca Porter and her partner Jeff.
Linda is also survived by a large extended family, including Marky Schnitz; Margaret Schnitz; Bill and Amy Schnitz; Robert and Trisha Schnitz and their children; Marissa Schnitz; Yolanda Charney; Rebecca and Jed Marcus and their children; David and Randee Charney and their children; Eliot Charney; Liz Hennick and daughter River; Deborah Freistat; Sarah and Kapu Pajimola and their children; Heidi Freistat and her partner Ben; Michael and Diane Freistat; Brian and Tana Freistat; Tracy Freistat; Brianda Freistat and her fiancé Matt; and Brandon Freistat.
Linda wanted to especially recognize her most cherished friendships, including Becky, Jim and the entire Ivins family; “the Divas”; Teri and Doug Williams; Cheryl Hille; Kim Feronti-Dickinson; Valerie Lewis; Gene Narvaez; Marilyn Jones Parker; Jackie Rubin Stratford; Phil and Janice Wilner; Paul Silverstein; Rabbi Vered Harris any others who might have been missed.
And, to her very special friend who cared for both her and her mother, Kristen Adams. I love you, Kristen.
Services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, March 29, at Temple B’nai Israel in Oklahoma City. Reception to follow at 2:30p.m. at Creekside Wedding Chapel in Edmond. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to organizations that were dear to Linda’s heart—Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma and Cure Duchenne.