Authors Gather to Eulogize Poet’s Life

funeral wakeIf your life revolved around writing, what better place for a memorial than a library? Utah author Linda Sillitoe died of a heart attack on April 7, and at her request there was no funeral. Instead, according to her suggestion, there will be a gathering of family, friends, and fellow writers at a location deemed congenial for everyone concerned.

The location has been determined. It will be held at the Marriott Library on the campus of the University of Utah—an event sponsored by Friends of the Marriott Library. The hosts promise an upbeat celebration of Linda’s life and works. The time will be Saturday, June 12, at 1:00 p.m., at the library’s Gould Auditorium.

Three writers and long-time friends, Emma Lou Thayne, Levi Peterson, and Paul Swenson, will offer short tributes. All three are known for their insights and candor, both in print and in person. In addition, Melissa Sillitoe will offer a daughter’s perspective, while Linda’s younger brother Dave Buhler will provide a sibling’s view. There will also be an open-mic period.

Linda was known for her poetry, fiction, and journalistic pieces—most notably for Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders, a book she co-authored with Allen Roberts. Her book of poetry, Crazy for Living, received the 1993 Best Poetry Award from the Association for Mormon Letters.

She graduated from the University of Utah in 1971. Afterward she worked as a reporter at Utah Holiday magazine and the Deseret News, and she wrote in-depth analytical pieces for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and Sunstone magazine. She also taught creative and technical writing at Salt Lake Community College, Weber State University, and the University of Utah.

She is survived by her husband, John, recently retired from the Stewart Library at Weber State University, and their three children, Melissa, Rob, and Cynthia, as well as by six siblings and others in the extended family.

The public is invited to the memorial. Parking is available west of the library. Light refreshments will be served.