After a thirty-five year struggle with multiple sclerosis, Linda L. Stalley passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior Jesus Christ on October 1, 2021, with her husband, Jim Brock; her sister, Judy Stalley Rowlands; and brother-in-law, Dan Rowlands by her side.
Linda was born on August 1, 1947, in Kentfield, California, and was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Maxine Stalley. She is survived by her husband, Jim Brock of Boise, Idaho; her aunt, Virginia Robertson of Vallejo, CA; her brother, Duane Stalley of San Mateo, CA; her sister, Judy Stalley Rowlands (Dan) of Boise, Idaho; her brother, Chuck Stalley (Pam) of Williams, CA; her sister, Laura Stalley Hansen (Bill) of San Jose, CA; and ten nieces and nephews.
Linda loved the outdoors, especially the great Idaho outdoors, where she took up whitewater rafting and kayaking soon after moving from California in the early 1970s. She had the good fortune of learning to kayak from celebrated Idaho adventurer, Dr. Walt Blackadar. In the company of Idaho State University (ISU) friends, she ran rivers throughout the West including at least a dozen multi-day journeys down the Salmon River in Idaho’s rugged River of No Return Wilderness. There were few woman kayakers at the time, but she never asked for, or wanted any extra attention. She ran all of the difficult rapids, often in fine style, paddling past her impressed male companions with a wink and a wave. Linda was an avid competitor. She was fleet of foot, and, coached by her dad, Linda won many junior sprint races throughout California. One of her favorite events included the Pole, Peddle, Paddle Triathlon held in Jackson, WY, where she was a force to be reckoned with especially in the kayak leg of the race.
Linda was considered a role model–extraordinarily engaged, intelligent, generous, compassionate, and outgoing. She was fiercely honest and loyal, especially regarding friends and siblings, whom she held close. Her humor, infectious smile that could always bring laughter, reputation for being extremely well prepared, and getting the job done inspired tremendous esprit de corps. Her siblings remember that she was an incomparably positive and enthusiastic supporter of whatever project or endeavor they might be undertaking. Over the course of years of increasingly progressive and debilitating multiple sclerosis, her family and friends never once heard her complain. Linda endured MS with the same positive attitude, courage, and perseverance that she displayed in all her life pursuits.
Upon graduating from Sonoma Valley High School in 1965, Linda attended Santa Rosa Junior College from 1965-67, and then earned a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Idaho State University (ISU) in 1970. One year later in 1971, she achieved a Master of Education degree, also from ISU. With characteristic tenacity, Linda completed her Higher Education Ph.D. course requirements at the University of Arizona, where she specialized in higher education finance. She was in the process of completing her final dissertation chapters when her affliction prevented her from continuing.
Her professional life in Idaho was equally rich and ground-breaking. Linda joined ISU’s dental hygiene faculty from 1971-81, both while earning full-professor status and serving as department chair. Notably, as chair of the Dental Hygiene Department, she expanded the program’s curriculum, enrollment, and operational facilities, including a new dental hygiene clinic. Linda’s strength as an administrator was most impressive. Her work ethic was unsurpassed and she continually inspired her faculty to work hard, as well. Under Linda’s leadership, faculty and staff developed into highly-regarded educators on a national level, elevating the ISU Dental Hygiene Program to its status as one of the premier baccalaureate dental hygiene programs in the country. She was appointed Acting Dean of the College of Health-Related Professions in 1981.
Linda moved to Boise in 1983, when she became the first woman to serve as Chief Academic Officer of the Idaho State Board of Education. There, she fought to obtain adequate higher-ed funding and to develop both additional programs and greater student access to them. She then went on to serve as the first woman Vice President at Boise State University and a Professor of Health Sciences. Linda also served on numerous professional boards related to dental hygiene. At the national level, she served the profession as a member of the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the state level, she was President of the Idaho Dental Hygienists Association.
The family especially thanks the many caregivers for their compassionate care and attention to Linda, as well as the St. Luke’s hospice providers throughout Linda’s final days. As a beloved wife, sibling, aunt, colleague, and dear friend, Linda will be sorely missed.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Linda’s memory may be made to Idaho State University’s Linda L. Stalley Dental Hygiene Scholarship. For online giving, please see www.isu.edu/give and designate your gift to the Linda L. Stalley Dental Hygiene Scholarship. Alternately, checks may be designated to “Linda L. Stalley Dental Hygiene Scholarship,” and mailed to Idaho State University Foundation, 921 S 8th Ave, Stop 8050, Pocatello, ID 83209-8050.
A memorial service will be held 12 Noon, Saturday October 23, 2021, at Cloverdale United Reformed Church, 3580 N Cloverdale Rd., Boise, ID 83713. Immediately after the service friends and family will gather to share memories of Linda at The Bishops’ House, 2420 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712.