Linda Ward Fitzhugh, a former resident of Southold, died Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at Bentley Village Care Center in Naples, Fla. She was 79 years old.
Linda was born April 23, 1941, in Great Neck, N.Y., to Annette and Charles E. Ward. Annette passed away in 1943 and Charles remarried in 1945, to Beatrice “Bunny” Tullis. Linda graduated from the Cathedral School of St. Mary in Garden City, Bradford (Mass.) Junior College and New York School of Design. She was an interior designer for 30 years.
During the 1950s the Ward family purchased their first summer home, on Indian Neck Road in Peconic, overlooking Hogs Neck Bay. Then in the mid-1960s they purchased the J.S. Jenkins House overlooking Shelter Island Sound; this home is referenced in the book “Images of America: Southold.” It was here that Linda developed her passion for sailing. She was a member of the Southold Yacht Club; she and her crew raced in the Lightning class for several years, amassing many trophies.
This passion for sailing led her to marry Stanley Popko in 1973. Together they sailed Memsahib, a 36-foot motorsailer sloop. The couple enjoyed years of sailing and travel before retiring in 1986 to Founders Village and becoming full-time residents of Southold.
Linda continued to be a supporter of Hallockville Museum Farm, Southold Historical Society and various other organizations in the area. She was especially known for entertaining; large or small events were no challenge with her organizational skills. On Sundays she would read The Suffolk Times ads for restaurants in the area and plan the coming week’s dinners and lunches out with friends. Linda was always fond of these get-togethers and supporting local businesses.
In 1990 she became a snowbird, spending the winters in Naples, Fla. She remained a subscriber to The Suffolk Times to keep tabs on the North Fork while she was away, planning what to see and do upon her return.
In 2003 she married Philip Fitzhugh from Naples and the couple spent many happy years together until his death in 2011. Due to failing health, Linda said goodbye to Southold in 2014 and became a full-time resident of Naples until her death.
Linda is remembered by friends and family as someone who was focused on others instead of herself. Her indomitable spirit led her through a life of challenges and heartache by looking to the positive side of life.
She is survived by her sister, Susan; nephew, Charles; niece, Jan (Chris); great-nieces, Ashley (Peter) and Kristina; and goddaughter, Dana.
Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue is assisting the family with private burial at First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Southold.
This is a paid notice.