November 5, 1953 — November 24, 2019
Linda Silja was born November 5, 1953, in La Porte, Indiana, to Swedish immigrants, Helge and Elizabeth (Lisa) Silja. When she was three years old, the family, including her older sister Lillian, moved to Portland where they were close to their grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Linda would be the youngest of her cousins.
Linda attended Kenton School and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1971. All through school, Linda worked at the Carnival Restaurant. Her free time was often spent bicycling with her best friend to Portland Meadows Racetrack and Stables, where she would look at the horses and sometimes get to brush them while dreaming of someday owning one of her own.
Linda attended OSU for a year, but then turned her attention to work and horses. She bought an Appaloosa which she named Lucky. Together they (and later other horses) competed in horse shows, both Western Pleasure and English. Linda not only showed, but barrel-raced and competed in many other events throughout Oregon and Washington. She excelled and her walls were covered in ribbons. One of her horses was pictured on the cover of a national horse magazine.
In addition to competition, Linda enjoyed trail-riding. A unique experience was riding two 100 mile portions of the Appaloosa Chief Joseph Ride.
Linda trained and boarded horses and spent many a night sleeping in the barn ready to assist a mare giving birth.
In her devotion to sharing her love of horses, Linda began giving riding lessons. Her students were very special to her and several have remained close.
Sadly, a serious horse accident ended her ability to ride as she once did.
With Linda’s deep love of animals she worked as a receptionist for 27 years at Eastgate Veterinary Clinic in Corvallis and more recently, for 13 years at Lebanon Animal Hospital where she retired in November of 2018. She prided herself on knowing the names of clients and their pets. They, along with her coworkers, were like family.
Linda married Steven Winterstein in 1975 and later divorced. She married Virgil Carter in 1989. She had no children
Apart from work and horses, Linda liked to travel with her sister. It usually didn’t matter where they went … just that they were together. Three times a year there were also trips to cousin gatherings which continued the strong family bond.
For many years, Linda attended Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Lebanon, was a chat volunteer with the Oregon Ombudsman Program, and was a member of the Scio Buckeroos.
Linda is survived by her husband Virgil Carter of Scio; sister Lillian Barnes and James Barnes of Lebanon; niece Kristina Silja Bennard and great niece Elizabeth S. Silja Woods, both of Seattle; cousins, and many friends.
Donation in her memory can be made to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice or Safe Haven Animal Shelter, in care of Huston Jost Funeral Home, 86 W. Grant St., Lebanon.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.