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Linda J. (Perry) Bethune
B: 1951-10-11
D: 2019-12-15
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470 Massachusetts Avenue
PO Box 882
Acton, MA 01720
Phone: 978-263-5333
Fax: 978-263-8193
Linda J. (Perry) Bethune

Linda J. (Perry) Bethune

Sunday, December 15th, 2019
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ACTON, MA: Linda J. (Perry) Bethune, 68, passed peacefully Dec. 15, 2019 at her Acton home with her family by her side.

For the ten months since being diagnosed with brain cancer, Linda had shown the courage, grace and dignity that was at her core, that made her family love and support her, and that endeared her to her many friends. Following brain surgery in February 2019, she sought out and then enrolled in a clinical trial at Dana Farber Cancer Institute because, in her words, “I can deal with this, or not, and I choose to deal with it.” Against terrible odds, and while growing weaker, Linda stayed in the fight and continued personal training at Thoreau Club and recumbent bike rides around the Audubon Hill community. Although cancer took its physical toll, it never took away Linda’s personality and innate optimism. As much as she had supported and been a source of strength for her family, we tried to give back to Linda in kind at the end of her life.

Not surprising at all … Linda’s energy was a reflection of the way she had lived her entire life and of the courage she showed over and over again in making major life changes. In 1995, the family moved from Alexandria to Leesburg, Virginia to realize what Linda saw as life style changes for the better. The move meant different schools for Lisa and James, Linda and Bill’s two children, and a much different commute for Bill, but change was exciting and change meant new opportunities, all as Linda foretold. Lisa thrived in the horse culture of Loudoun County and when the family moved to horse property in 1999, our horses became our neighbors. James joined a Boy Scout Troop, went to National Scout Camp in Philmont, New Mexico and became an Eagle Scout. For years, these changes in life’s direction were affectionately known among Linda’s many Alexandria, VA friends as “pulling a Linda Bethune.”

In 2017, after Lisa had graduated from Tufts Veterinarian School and met the young man she wanted to share life with, Linda sparked the idea of Bill and her relocating from Northern Virginia to New England, an area of the country they both loved and where Bill had family. Again, it was a bold idea and it was Linda’s willingness and excitement to embrace change that made it all work. Always a careful planner with a clear vision of what had to be done and the order for doing it, Linda organized all the moving parts. Their Leesburg property of 17 years was updated, listed, and then sold with a 30-day rent back; furniture and furnishings were donated, gifted, and sold; new boarding for two horses was found and then Oakley and Danny were shipped to New England; and a new house was purchased in Grafton, MA in a seller’s market. Linda was the driving force in the middle of all this activity.

Linda, as a wife and a mother, had a balance for living life to the fullest, an empathy for her family and friends that made them cherish her, and an enthusiasm that was contagious. To paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr, Linda had the serenity to accept what she could not change, the courage to change what she could, and the wisdom to know the difference. In a moment that took Bill’s breath away, Linda told him in 2019 that she did not regret what happened to her, only that it happened to her so young.

In tribute to Linda, we her family tell you that she enjoyed an energy source that at times seemed overflowing. She was, all at once, a home maker, an interior designer, an educator, a friend who many described as “a life coach,” a photographer with an eye that captured beauty and calmness, a lover of animals, and always there for you – making every Holiday a perfect memory and giving time, encouragement and support with words that derived from understanding and empathy. Yes, giving love unconditionally. You will be missed but not forgotten.

A Life Celebration will be held at the Audubon Hill Community Center, Acton in Spring 2020. Date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168, also online at Memorial page
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    Audubon Hill Community Center
    ACTON, MA 01720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A Life Celebration will be held at the Audubon Hill Community Center, Acton in Spring 2020. Date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168, also online at


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Private Condolence

Lisa Bethune

Posted at 11:31am
Dear Mom- Sometimes I need to use this memory wall as a communication channel to you.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing ok, then sometimes it hits me and I am drowning in grief all over again. Please know that everyday I am thinking of you, holding on to your memory and all the good times we had. I do not understand why you were taken from me so early, its not fair at all, but then I think that you are up there, smiling down on us, and free from your cancer and related disabilities. I did a cancer charity run for you last weekend, and I will keep doing them for you. We are planning to do the Pan Mass Challenge bike ride to raise money for Dana Farber in your memory, Parker will come too : )

With love,

Lisa Bethune

Posted at 06:37pm
Linda and I were sisters-in-law. I lived in Rhode Island, and the Bethunes lived in Virginia. It wasn’t until Bill and Linda moved to Massachusetts that she and I deepened our relationship into a true bond of love for each other. She and I traveled the hour between our homes frequently, shopping, going out to lunch, talking, laughing, and getting to know each other. Oh,and did I mention painting? Yes, Paint Night became a big common interest for us. We went allot! Sometimes up near Grafton, sometimes in Rhode Island.We had a great time! A few weeks before Christmas, (we all know how much she loved Christmas) she said for me to bring my brushes and come to Grafton....she had bought several unpainted wood ornaments and we were going to make our own. It was then that she taught me her lovely falling snow technique!

Linda loved her family! I know they all feel sharp grief over her passing. We all do! As for me,well I am figuring out my”new normal”. Over these cold winter days I relish my memories, and delight in the softly falling snow, which I am sure Linda is sprinkling down just for me! RIP Linda

Submitted with love, Cherie Bethune Sayles ♥️

David Watrous

Posted at 10:44pm
Not long after Lisa and I started dating, she invited me home for Christmas. I was a little nervous to meet her family, but especially her mom Linda since I knew what an important figure she was in Lisa's life.

From what she had told me, I expected Linda to be energetic, outgoing and fearless about speaking her mind. She lived up to those expectations, but what surprised me was how quickly she and Bill made me feel welcome in their home, and the incredible amount of effort and care Linda put into making the visit and the holiday wonderful for everyone, myself included.

Shortly afterwards, Bill and Linda moved only 15 minutes away from us, and I was fortunate enough to get to know both of them much better. Each time we would visit, it amazed me how much work Linda would put into making us feel comfortable and cared for, even if we were just dropping by for a weeknight dinner.

The more I got to know Linda, the more I realized how many of the traits I love about Lisa came from her mother. I'm grateful for the time I spent with her and I'm proud to call her family.

Lisa Bethune

Posted at 06:47pm
There are many things I remember about Aunt Linda, like her love for Christmas and the amazing decorations all over her home, or her gift for event planning and the fun parties she would throw ( dance instructors 🤣)
My favorite memory is when Laura and I got a surprise gift in the mail from Linda after we lost our beloved golden Brady. Besides a lovely note with the exact right words to let us know she understood our grief, We opened the box to find a beautiful ordainment, with a painting of Brady on the inside. It’s so wonderful, it sits on our fireplace hearth all year long. Now when I look at this ordainment, I am filled with loving memories of Brady and Linda. I am sure they are going on long walks together in heaven ❤️

All my love to you😘

Jennifer Sayles

Bill Bethune

Posted at 10:55am
The quality of Linda's life was not measured by the number of breaths she took, but by the number of moments that her expressions of love left me and other family members breathless. I live thankfully for the time that Linda was with me as my wife and the mother of our children. She was full of surprises that made me feel special and that left me breathless in appreciation of her thoughtfulness ... like when she gave me a sailboat on my 40th birthday. The friend who Linda consulted in making the right selection (a 16 foot O'Day Day Sailor) and who Linda swore to secrecy expressed the essence of my feelings in telling Linda, "I hope Bill knows how lucky he is." I did and I always will.

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