Linda Josephine Wheeldon (née Inglima), age 74, passed November 11, 2022, just before 1 p.m. at her home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She was surrounded by her husband, David Hastey, and her children, Johannes, Caleb, Seth, and Morgan. Despite a diagnosis of stage 4 renal cell carcinoma in July 2017, Linda continued to live undaunted. She taught, wrote, married, maintained her counseling practice, traveled, cared for grandchildren, performed, laughed, and loved everyone in her orbit. After the cancer returned in the spring of 2022, she was cared for by Jessica Prince, her sisters, Donna and Tina, David, her family, and many others in the community, including friends, colleagues, and former students.
Born on Long Island, New York, in 1947, to Philip Charles Inglima and Lillian Slavik, Linda was the eldest of four children. By age 12, she and her siblings Donna, Tina, and Phillip had lost both parents and were separated. Linda and Donna moved to California to be raised by George and Jo Van Eps. Tina and Phil remained on Long Island with John and Sarah Inglima. To keep the siblings in contact, the two families sent tape recordings back and forth and visited when finances allowed.
An unapologetic feminist, Linda supported and was supported by her “women’s group” for more than 35 years. She raised four boys with Trevor Wheeldon. The boys learned to cook, clean, and do laundry before their teenage years. Change, after all, begins at home. Each son married a strong, independent woman and are raising seven grandchildren, with another on the way. Her final visits with those little ones were tender. As much as she loved her family, she was animated by a love of her community. Inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, she started a Waldorf daycare in Starr’s Point and was long involved in work to include people living with developmental disabilities, professionally and in her own home. For 20 years, Linda was devoted to her beloved Women of Wolfville, contributed to War Child, the Deep Roots Music Festival, and many other organizations and events.
Professionally, she was an early supporter of differentiated and arts-based learning, the power of music, and the role of empathy, which are now philosophical pillars among contemporary educators. She was secure in her belief that unconditional love for others was the only way through difficult moments. She served as president of the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists and as a national director for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She wrote a book with Michelle Forrest on feminist pedagogy in teacher education and taught for decades at Acadia, as well as at Mount St Vincent, UPEI, and Cape Breton University. Her passion for strong therapeutic practices influenced generations of teachers, therapists, students, and clients. She was devoted to the idea that while together we are better, perfection is an illusion.
Linda was many things to many people. Her loss is felt deeply in Wolfville and beyond. Those of us who may feel unmoored by this news might reflect on her belief that we must endeavor to meet injustice with compassion and focus on empathy to bridge misunderstanding. The family encourages those mourning Linda to donate their time, effort, or funds to local organizations that serve women in crisis, children in distress, or others in need of support. Gratitude from the family goes to the palliative care team, Dr. Colin Burgoyne, and the Victoria Order of Nurses (VON). If so moved, you may donate to the VON here: https://von.ca/en/donate-von
Linda hugged nearly everyone she saw. We encourage you to remember some of those hugs in the weeks and months ahead and to pass them along. The family plans a celebration of her life in the Spring of 2023.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the compassionate care of the JW Allen Funeral Home, Hwy 215 Summerville (Phone 902-633-2431). Please visit their website at www.allenfh.ca if you wish to sign the guest book and/or send private condolences.