College director of military programs dies

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Lacey, Wash. - The Saint Martin's College community mourns in the loss of a woman who played a vital role in the lives of military students at the college's extension campuses.

Linda FletcherLinda Fletcher, director of military programs, died April 11 at her Federal Way home after a two-year battle with cancer.

Fletcher was born April 4, 1946, to Glendon and Helen (Henderson) Patterson in Memphis, Tenn. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends and was known for her devotion to the field of education and her faith.

A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Federal Way, at 30525 8th Ave. S.

The college will hold a separate memorial service on April 25 at 3 p.m. at the Saint Martin's Abbey Church in Lacey, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE.

Fletcher, 55, had been with the college for seven years. Initially, she was the director of the Fort Lewis extension campus. Three years ago, she became director of military programs for both McChord and Fort Lewis.

"Linda Fletcher was a powerful presence within the college community, and was an especially compassionate leader at our military base programs," said Jacqueline Johnson, vice president for academic affairs. "Linda was a respected colleague and a beloved friend who will be sorrowfully missed by us all."

She is credited with structuring the extension campus programs and setting up a system that functioned to meet the needs of the college and military, while keeping the best interests of the students at the forefront. During two years of chemotherapy, she never missed a day of work.

The Fort Lewis and McChord extensions primarily serve military personnel and their dependents, offering eight bachelor degree programs and one master's program to choose from. Under Fletcher's direction the teacher certification program was recently made available.

"Linda was welcoming, hospitable, capable and a joy to be around," said David Spangler, the college's president. "Her service and unselfish commitment to the college was an inspiration for all of us. She kept a schedule that would challenge the most ambitious among us."

Based on her wishes, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers, condolences be instead sent to the Saint Martin's Office of Development for the Linda Fletcher Memorial Scholarship for Extension Students. Checks should be made payable to Saint Martin's College and note the Linda Fletcher Memorial Scholarship.

She is survived by her husband, John Fletcher of Federal Way; a son, Michael Fletcher of Federal Way; a daughter, Kristin Conklin of Maple Valley; and her mother, Helen Patterson of Federal Way.

For more information:
Christina Ramírez-Milhoan, communications specialist
Office of Communication
(360) 438-4541 or