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National NOW Times >> Summer, 2001 >> Article

In Memoriam: Linda Sievers

By Liz Gilchrist, Director Major Gifts/Planned Giving

NOW lost a valued activist and a fearless southern sister with the passing of Linda Sievers on February 21, 2001.

Linda was a lifelong resident of Monroe, Louisiana. Professionally, she worked for the Monroe Utilities Commission, which later became part of Entergy, the mid-south energy corporation. However, Linda always considered her true life’s vocation to be the struggle for women’s rights, which she was able to pursue full-time upon her retirement from Entergy in 1998.

For more than 20 years, Linda was dedicated to NOW. She emerged as a leader at every level of the organization, from her chapter in Monroe to the National Board. Linda served multiple terms as Louisiana State Coordinator and as Mid-South Regional Director. With her raspy laugh and deep southern accent, Linda was an unmistakable presence at state, regional and national conferences.

Linda was admired by her sister and brother NOW activists for her unwillingness to back down from controversial issues in the conservative and often hostile environment of her northeast Louisiana home. Whether it was organizing escorts for an abortion clinic or picketing the Promise Keepers, Linda always insisted on being on the front line of the fight for women’s rights.

"Linda will be terribly missed by all of us whose lives she has touched with her kindness and humor," said NOW Executive Vice President Kim Gandy, who was a friend of Linda for many years. "Her devotion to women’s rights was matchless."

In addition to her enormous contributions to NOW, Linda was active in a wide variety of community organizations. She was a member of the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as the Monroe Mayor’s Commission on the Needs of Women. Linda also did support work for union organizing in her community. One of her favorite local charities was the Ouachita Humane Society Shelter for Cats.

Linda is survived by her son, John Robert Sievers, her daughter-in-law, Lorrette Stack Sievers, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth Anne Sievers and John Robert Sievers, Jr., all of whom are members and supporters of NOW.

Not long before her retirement, Linda joined members of the National Board and other state and chapter leaders and activists in forming the Visionary Circle, which recognizes those individuals who make a gift to NOW in their wills. For more information on how to join the Circle with a bequest or other planned gift to NOW or NOW Foundation, please contact Liz Gilchrist, Gift Planning Director, NOW, 733 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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