December 14, 1941 ~ April 19, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old


Linda M. Stubblefield: Born on December 14th 1941 to Herbert and Emma Gilliam during the pre-World War II years in a rural setting of East Tennessee, in what is known as a part of the Bible Belt, in a small historic community called Guntown just outside of Rogersville. Linda lived a full life for eighty-one plus years, like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31, taking care of the family home and raising three wonder and beautiful children.

In the role of a wife, she took care of me on a daily basis for these sixty-three years, in a heart to heart and hand to hand manner, living out the perfect plan for a marriage made in heaven (Genesis 2:24). I truly believe that God made love; because I found love when I fell for Linda. I was hers and she was mine, therefore love must be divine!

Raised in a very faithfully devoted family she obeyed the gospel of Christ and became a Christian early on in life. Those Christian principles became her guiding light for her entire life. She fully believed the apostle Paul when he said; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Linda knew well in advance of her death that death was approaching and that she must prepare for the natural event. She knew that each person makes their personal choice as to how to approach the end of this life. Therefore, she spent a lifetime of preparing for this event.

Linda’s knowledge of the Bible and her abiding faith in the Word of God left her with the understanding that she had an eternal soul entrapped in her physical body. She additionally fully recognized that God the Heavenly Father was the author of eternal life of her soul housed in this earthly body. Like Job and Solomon of the Old Testament part of the Bible, she often questioned the ideal that justice is not always served in this earthly life. She knew that when sin entered the world and this life through Eve and Adam that sin is the reason humans must experience death. “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Genesis 3:3).

Knowing that the Gospel fully teaches that we must all die; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), Linda fully accepted death with a degree of grace and made it her lifelong goal of life to be able, when death of this earthly body approached, to be able to ask God the Father to “Let her depart in peace.” “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word” (Luke 2:29).

Completely understanding that Jesus has overturned death, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:10-11), she looked to the resurrection of the dead that is clearly taught in the Bible.

This understanding is rooted and grounded in the apostle Paul’s teaching found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; etc. where Paul simply pictures the death of a Christian as nonfinal and nonthreatening.

John adds in his teaching that how a hearer, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:11) hears the Gospel and responds is a matter of life and death; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life” (John 5:24). Yes, Linda is looking forward to the resurrection!

Her study of the Bible led her to believe that even though death was looming on a daily basis, and never wanted, on the other hand she knew from her Bible that a resurrection was in God the Father’s plans and that the realm of the dead belongs to God. Thus death is removed from its normal context at the end of life and placed in the very middle of life; “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). Jesus is coming soon! “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:23).

Her study of the Bible also revealed that death comes in its own time and in its own way, so she came to the conclusion “Yes, I’m dying” therefore I need to be prepared to meet my Savior; “But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 32  and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 33  and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:31-34).

She realized years ago that how we approach death depends largely on how much we participated in life itself; “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Now, Linda has said her last good bye to this life and the life she lived is her final and lasting testimony; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Someone says, “Marshall, she’s gone.” But, gone where? You see, for all these sixty-three years I have had a ring side seat, so with me, she is gone from this life, but not forgotten! She has entered a new eternal city, a new life. There are other eyes watching now, and other voices shouting; “HERE SHE COMES!”

Linda is survived by her earthly family: loving husband of 63 years, Marshall; two wonderful sons, Jeff and David; a magnificent daughter, Tammy; a fantastic grandson, Noah; a great sister, Nancy; sister-in-law Opal; her spiritual family of the Guntown Community Church of Christ whom loved her and she loved them. As well as a host of nieces and nephews; and wonderful neighbors.

Graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 22, 2023 at McKinney Cemetery with Fred Curtis officiating.

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