Linda Joy Nassif
There was an exuberance about Linda, you could see
it in her eyes, you could hear it in her voice. She loved to laugh. Linda was many things to many people, a daughter, a school teacher, a gourmet cook, a wife, a school board member, a political activist, a sister, a friend and an aunt. But let's start at the beginning.
Linda Joy Nassif entered this world on Dec. 28, 1943, in Omaha, Neb., the fourth of 10 children born to Maheba Nussrallah Nassif and Albert George Nassif. She left 76 years later on April 27, 2020, due to complications of COVID-19. A lot happened in between.
Like all of the Nassif siblings, Linda attended Immaculate Conception Grade School. But she was the first to attend the new Regis High School for all four years. And she was never more proud than when Regis won the Iowa State Basketball championship her senior year. She went on to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where she was proudly voted "Miss Sweetheart" by her sorority sisters, a coveted title. She graduated in 1966 as an English major with an eye towards teaching.
Linda had a lot of boyfriends, but the first one to capture her heart was Don Campanella. They married and moved to San Francisco. When he was stationed in Germany as an officer in the U.S. Army, she followed. She loved traveling! She visited various European capitals, her favorite being romantic Paris. But, Linda's most adventurous trip came later when she was joined by her mother on a trip to Lebanon in the Middle East. That was the most memorable of her life and the source of countless stories and anecdotes, retold many times to the end of her life.
Linda's second marriage was to Mike Teague. They lived and worked in Cedar Rapids, happy to be close to her family. Linda taught sixth grade at St. Pius Grade School. She loved the kids and the kids loved her. She was a creative, dedicated teacher full of new ideas to make learning exciting.
Linda devoted her life to education and politics. Besides being a teacher, she ran for and won a seat on the Cedar Rapids School Board for several years. Her teaching experience gave her valuable insights. She also was very proud of her work with the AAUW, American Association of University Women, an association dedicated to gender equality for women. She first served as chairman of various committees and then president of the local chapter from 1994 to 1996, earning the association's highest award for 15 years of dedicated service.
Linda was a staunch Republican who rose to leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa, as president of the Linn County Republican Women's Association from 1990 to 1992. She also ran and was defeated for an Iowa House seat, but that didn't dampen her enthusiasm for politics. She served on the Iowa Republican Central Committee Advisory Board from 2004 to 2006 and remained active in the party for many more years.
But Linda's all-time greatest love was cooking, a passion she shared with her mother. Linda was the quintessential foodie. Her culinary tastes, talent and curiosity delighted and amazed us. Linda was never happier than when she was cooking food, eating food or simply talking about food.
The family always will remember and be grateful for Linda's devotion and care of their mother during a long rehabilitative period. Not only did Linda house, clean and cook for her mother, but she also entertained her and was her constant companion during those several months. And later when Maheba was legally blind, Linda acted as her chauffeur, her hairdresser, ran errands, took her out to eat and took her shopping. The closeness she felt to her mother gave her great comfort and lasted till the day she died.
Linda is survived by her brothers, Douglas Nassif and his wife, Regina, and Joseph Nassif, of Cedar Rapids; her sisters, Alberta Nassif Rogers of Phoenix, Ariz., Mary Nassif Batenhorst, and her husband, Duane, of La Crescenta, Calif., Jeanne Nassif Amosson, and her husband, Tom, of Cedar Rapids, Shirley Nassif Hunter, and her husband, Philip, of Alexandria, La., and Christine Nassif McCann, and her husband, Casey, of Lafayette, Calif.; several nieces and nephews and one great-niece.
She was preceded in death by her brothers, Richard Allen Nassif and Michael John Nassif.
A private graveside service will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 30, at St. George's cemetery. A funeral mass and memorial reception will take place at a later date.
Memorial gifts in Linda's memory can be made to "Immaculate Conception Church" for its food bank, 857 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.
In lieu of that (or in addition to that), Linda would like you to do some unsolicited act of kindness to a stranger. You may join the livestream of the graveside from your home at client.tribucast.com/tcid/80355806.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.