Linda Oja

Linda M. Oja

Thursday, October 21st, 1965 - Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
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Linda Marie Oja (Grant), Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Linda passed away peacefully at home on October 21, 2020. In her typical flair for the dramatic, this happened to be on her 55th birthday. Her passing came after a several year bout with terminal stage four metastatic breast cancer. During her final few days, her home was filled with beloved family members, friends, and of course, animals, for one final time. We think it is safe to say the hustle and bustle of visitors, sounds of laughter, and smells of some home cooking brought her comfort. Not to mention a grand finale of all her favorite music, of which there was much. It certainly brought comfort to all of us who were able to be in her earthly presence one last time.

Linda was born to Janice and Gerald Grant on October 21, 1965. The eldest of three children, she grew up in Franklin, Wisconsin with her younger brothers Daniel and Patrick Grant. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1983 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, from which she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 1987. She married Robert Oja in 1987, with whom she had four children, Michael (born 1988), Stephen (born 1990), Andrew (born 1994), and Katherine (born 1998). She later continued her education and received a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University in 2003.

Befitting her fiery red hair, Linda was a woman of many passions, the foremost of these being music and her children (with a close third being her pets and probably fourth being cross-stitching). She knew very early on these were the two things she would dedicate much of her life to. An extraordinarily talented musician, the violin and viola were her primary instruments. She performed in countless concerts throughout her lifetime with many different orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles, large and small. Linda gifted her passion for music to many, primarily through her career as a music educator. She spent most of her working years as an elementary and middle school orchestra teacher, mainly in the Lake Geneva, WI and Burlington, WI school districts. Of course she did not limit her musical tastes to stodgy classical music, and anyone who knew her knows she had a mean funky streak in her, especially when it came to her favorite musician, Prince.

Linda was also an extraordinarily talented mother. All four of her children enjoyed her unconditional love and support from the moment they were born. Through the ups and downs of her life and the lives of her four children, this love and support was perhaps the one constant. We all are grateful for the gift of her motherhood, which earned her the nickname of the “Red Hen” in her later years. The Red Hen got to enjoy the addition of one more member to her flock in her last months, her sweet little angel of a first grandchild, Logan. It is impossible to pick a favorite from the innumerable memories we all have from growing up as members of her proud brood. What we can all say, though, is if memories make us rich, then we are all very rich indeed.

Linda made it clear she wanted no one to feel sorry for her or focus on all the trials cancer put her through. She was grateful to all her family and friends who helped her throughout those trials and so very thankful for all their love and support. She instead wanted us all to remember and celebrate her earthly life as well as her passing into peaceful eternal life, and that is something we will certainly do. She is survived by her parents, Jan and Jerry Grant; her brothers, Dan and Pat Grant; her children, Mike, Steve, Andy, and Katie Oja; her grandchild, Logan; several nieces and nephews; many beloved friends, including her Southbrook Church community; and of course her cat kids, Paisley, Prince, and Freddie.

A memorial service will be held for Linda in the Milwaukee area. Details are pending and will be provided on this website as soon as they are arranged.
A private memorial service will be held for Linda at 5pm on Tuesday, November 3rd at Southbrook Church in Franklin, WI. If you would like to send flowers, they can be sent directly to the church. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made directly to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music in Linda’s name.

Due to COVID, we are limiting this service to immediate family and close friends and appreciate your understanding in this. We ask that those who attend wear a mask throughout in order to keep everyone safe.
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Kimberly George

Posted at 10:50pm
I am so very sad to hear this! Linda was truly an inspiration to her students in orchestra! She was very loved by them and their families as someone who cared and wanted to see all of them have a greater understanding and appreciation for music! The world has lost a truly special gift❣️

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