Linda Jane Madsen Wold, 83, Polson, passed away on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the family cabin on the Swan River. She was born in Missoula on January 22, 1940, to Lester and May Madsen. Her brother Bruce was born 2 years later.
She attended Paxson grade school and Hellgate and Sentinel High schools in Missoula. She was the Spartan Homecoming Queen her senior year. She worked during the summers in the office at Community Creamery, which was owned by her family. She attended the University of Montana where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and an SAE Little Sister. She married Douglas J. Wold on December 29, 1961. They immediately moved to Los Angeles where Doug was working on his master’s degree at the University of Southern California. Linda finished the requirements for her BS at USC while working full time at Howard Hughes Aircraft, where she held top secret classifications.
The couple moved back to Missoula and Linda worked at First National Bank for three years while Doug studied for his law degree at UM. Their first child, Chantel, was born during this time. When Doug graduated from law school he was also commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and the couple moved to Charlottesville Virginia for JAGC school. Doug was assigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where they spent two years and had their second child, Clay. Linda worked as a dental assistant while at Fort Dix. After two years, Doug was assigned to the U.S. Army Defense Appellate Division and the couple lived in Washington D.C. Linda particularly enjoyed the arts and culture that Washington offered at that time.
After about two years, Doug was offered an appointment as a Montana Assistant Attorney General, and they moved back to Helena, Montana. In 1969 they moved to Polson. Shortly after, their son Chad was born, and the couple and their three children moved into a home on the west shore where they have lived for over 50 years.
Linda was very active in community life. She particularly enjoyed her long membership in the local P.E.O. chapter. She was also very active in Jaycees, Cursillo, Masumola, Sons of Norway, and the Episcopal Church. Recreationally, Linda loved making pottery, boating, skiing, jet skis, sailing in the San Juans, and midnight rides down Going-To-The-Sun Road. She and Chantel scared the men by bungee jumping 141’ in Canada.
Linda was well known as a Master Gardener, creating spectacular lakeshore gardens which were often the venue of large groups and fund-raisers. She was a fabulous host, and her “End Of Summer” parties were especially looked forward to. She will be long remembered for hosting the Montana Trial Lawyers Association Annual Meeting dinners of 150-300 people in her gardens each July for about 15 years. Linda operated two high-end women clothing stores, Applause which was located in Bigfork and Boutique which was located in Polson.
Linda enjoyed foreign travel, going to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Rarotonga, China, and several trips to Europe and Alaska. During the last decade, Linda was the heart of the management of the family’s VRBO business, operating vacation rentals on Flathead Lake, Whitefish Mountain, and the Swan River where she suffered her fatal heart attack while preparing for the rental season. She loved to serve others and bring joy to the world.
Linda was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Survivors include Doug, her husband of 64 years, their three children, Chantel and her husband Bob and their son Ethan, sons Clay, Chad (Katy) and his four sons, Zander, Keegan, Bode, and Decker.
A memorial service will be held in her gardens when the flowers are at their peak.