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4/29/2014 6:00:00 AM
Chevalier's family: 'She had an express ticket to heaven'
Linda Chevalier in a favorite family photograph. The Kingman woman died in a car accident last week when a car driven by a fleeing suspect struck her vehicle. (Courtesy)
Linda Chevalier in a favorite family photograph. The Kingman woman died in a car accident last week when a car driven by a fleeing suspect struck her vehicle. (Courtesy)
Services scheduled
A celebration of Linda Chevalier's life is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 10 at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1730 Kino Ave. The pubic is invited.

The family asks that rather than send flowers, please donate to the St. John's Food Pantry or Mission Team "or to any mission you support, in honor of Linda."

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Devoted wife, mother, grandmother, coach, caregiver, mentor, adventurer, champion of causes and selfless servant of the Lord - Linda Chevalier was all of these and more.

Her family agrees that Chevalier, who died April 22 in a car crash that ended a law enforcement pursuit of a wanted man, possessed boundless energy and an indomitable spirit.

"She just wanted to live life to the fullest," said David, her husband of more than 46 years. And she did.

David and the three daughters he and Linda raised spoke lovingly of Chevalier, 66, in an emotional interview with the Miner at St. John's United Methodist Church.

The family had one rule: "We will talk about Mom's life," said Denise, the eldest. "We don't want to talk about how she died. It's too soon to discuss that and we want this interview to be a celebration of her life."

What a life it was.

Born in Douglas where she was raised in the United Methodist church, Chevalier left Arizona after graduating from Douglas High School in 1966, when she moved to Wisconsin to live with an older sister and take a job in a manufacturing plant.

"Her sister and my mom were friends," recounted David. Long story short, Linda met David through church and they married in 1967.

Nineteen years later, the family moved to Kingman. Denise and Karen were in high school. Suzanne, several years younger, was in elementary school.

All the girls graduated from Kingman High School and their mother could not have been more supportive.

"The thing I remember is she was at every one of our extracurricular activities," said Karen. She was there for booster club, swimming competitions, marching band, sports and many other school-life activities.

She was there for the births of her seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Denise and Karen were soldiers. Suzanne is married to a soldier. Wherever they were on the planet, if Mom was needed, Mom was there.

She saw the good in everyone

In Kingman, Chevalier coached softball and founded a Kids Voting Arizona chapter. She belonged to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers because she believed in the group's message, "Not because anything happened to her personally in her life," said Denise, who summed up her mother with elegant grace when she said:

"It didn't matter what your background was, your race, your religion or your political beliefs, she found a common ground of goodness in everyone and she took that with her in being a servant of God."

Chevalier didn't limit her good works to Sundays at St. John's, where she was involved in many of the church's community programs.

David and his daughters offered another memory that deftly illustrates how Chevalier lived her life.

"There were these people whose vehicle broke down in Wal-Mart's parking lot," said David, before Karen picked up the story.

"Mom met them. She brought them to church, found a mechanic that would look at the vehicle and got them food," she said.

The down-on-their-luck travelers were sleeping in their van.

"Mom said, 'Well, we've got room at our house. She knew them for 20 minutes. They stayed two days."

Chevalier had "no fear of strangers because nobody was a stranger to her."

Her family benefited most from Chevalier's nature. She called her grandchildren every morning before school. She would call her daughter Suzanne at 2 p.m. every day. Suzanne is in Italy where her husband is stationed and those afternoon phone calls came when it was 5 a.m. in Kingman.

She didn't panic when a two-year-old grandson handed her his floaties and jumped into the deep end of the pool. She taught him how to swim.

Fluent in Spanish, Chevalier helped provide relief in disaster stricken countries, such as Guatemala and Mexico. She went to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and Moore, Okla., after tornadoes ripped through the area last year.

On all of those trips, the people she went with benefited from her loving nature as much as did the people they were there to help, said Denise.

Up for anything

At 64, Chevalier and Denise and Denise's family jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

"It's not on my bucket list, but sure," said Chevalier when Denise invited her to go skydiving.

She snorkeled and went scuba diving and they couldn't get her out of the water.

"That was a highlight of my life," said Denise.

Chevalier tackled class 4 rapids on a Tennessee river. Closer to home, she twice hiked Supai Falls and she was a veteran camper in the Hualapai Mountains.

She broke a leg in Guatemala and traveled on crutches to attend the birth of a grandchild.

As the person in charge of student attendance at Palo Christi, Chevalier would not hesitate to hop into the school's "Brady Bunch station wagon" and go find kids from Golden Valley who didn't show up for school.

Students who came to school without basic supplies didn't have to wait long. Chevalier noticed and would take quiet but immediate action.

"She went the extra mile in everything she did," said Karen.

Favorite memories include a trip to Israel she and David took.

"We were re-Baptized in the Jordan River," said David. They sailed on the Sea of Galilee. There were visits to Italy, Amsterdam and Hawaii, where she stayed for months after Suzanne's husband began a two-year deployment. Suzanne was pregnant and Mom was there for another grandbaby's arrival.

She and David's next adventure would have begun in May, when they were set to travel back to Italy to visit Suzanne's family for six weeks.

In typical Linda fashion, she was preparing for the trip by learning to speak Italian.

"She was just an amazing woman," said David.

She lived her faith daily

"We will miss her dearly," said David. "She will be missed by a lot of people."

Those people include the elderly man who relied on Chevalier to assist him in his home for about two hours a day as part of her work with Angels on Duty, which provides hospice and other care.

It was from his house she was driving when the accident occurred.

She was on the board of directors of Cornerstone Mission, helping the homeless help themselves. She fed the hungry. Clothed the needy. Gave warmth to the cold and had a positive influence on all who met her, and she did it all with an uncommon generosity of spirit.

"We will continue to honor her life with dignity," said Denise. "We know where she is. She had an express ticket to heaven."

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb
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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Article comment by: Pam Smith

David and family,
It was my pleasure to know Linda. She was an amazing woman and always helped everyone. I remember going to your house for a party one night and the way that I was treated just like family. She will be missed but will remain in our hearts forever. My prayers are with you. God Bless your family.


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Katy Laulo

Oh sweet Linda...always a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement. It was such an honor knowing you and I will never forget you. You've left behind a beautiful legacy that paints such a gorgeous picture of life, love, sacrifice and happiness. Your finger prints are forever left on the hearts and lives of so many. What a treasure you are my friend. I'll still look for you in the stands at the sporting events and I know you'll be there in spirit.
Dave, Denise, Karen, Suzanne and family, please know our prayers are with you all. Linda loved you all so much and was so proud of you. I'm so terribly sad for your huge loss, and praying the Comforter eases your pain, minute by minute.


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: R .

Being a Christian is NOT just something you say, it's something you DO! This lovely lady sounds like a TRUE Christian.
We're all going to leave this earth at some point, she just got the call a little early...she's the lucky one! It's those who are left behind to grieve and live through the unpleasantries of this world who have it bad.
We should all be so fortunate as Linda Chevalier. My condolences to her family and friends.


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Theresa Jones

To Karen and the entire family. My heart breaks for you all. Your mother was a beautiful woman with a precious spirit. I only knew her a little, but I saw that spirit in Karen. I'm praying for you all.

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Karyn Shuffler Green

This article brings tears to my eyes... she was such a wonderful woman. I am glad to have known her... and to her family... much love to you! Karen, you and your family are in my and my family's thoughts and prayers. She was an angel here on earth!

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Nadine Kittilsen

The guy that killed Linda may have extinguished her Earthly light, but an Angel on Earth got her wings at the same time and no one will take those wings away. May Linda soar thru the sky with her wings.

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Michael Van Vliet

This is why we need to NOT chase criminals in hi speed chases it is not worth a human life

I do not fault the police offcer I fault the system as why are we chasing hi speed vehciles when the history shows most do not end good and some departments will not pursue the criminal past a certain MPH Chse gets called off

RIP LINDA


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Debi O

What a wonderful story, I was balling my eyes out as I read it. Heaven sure has gotten and wonderful angel may she rest in peace and I'm sure she will be missed by many who knew her

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Marva Jense

Very well written.
Linda was an exceptional lady in all areas, and I am proud to have known such an angel.


Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Glenda Erwin

What a blessing Linda was to this community and the world! Her life is a testament to what being a Christian is all about. Prayers and hugs to your family for the loss of this wonderful woman, and thank you SO much for sharing her story.



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