Linda L (Browne) Chesbro , VRHS Class of 1964

RENSSELAER -- Surrounded by her family, the angels came down in the early morning hours of September 2, 2022, and gently guided Linda Lee Browne Chesbro, our warrior goddess, into Jesus' loving arms and reunited her with her beloved John after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Linda was born in Albany on November 2, 1946, the daughter of the late Miriam (Wooley) Browne-Belair and William Browne. As the daughter of a strong-southern woman, it was instilled upon her that family comes first, a strong work ethic will always help you succeed, and even in the face of adversity always hold your head up high. But most of all, when life's battles knock you down, get up, dust off your armor and continue the fight. She was a life-long resident of the city of Rensselaer that fostered countless valued friendships through her Mann Avenue neighborhood and school years that stood the test of time. Most notably was her best friend for 73 years, Arlene Nichols Carroll, and her classmate from kindergarten to twelfth grade, favorite Rensselaer Ram football player and the love of her life, her husband for 56 years, Clinton John Chesbro Jr. By her side always, Linda and Arlene were like sisters and were there for one another from kickball games in the field on Munger Avenue to celebrating the births, marriages and successes of their children and grandchildren, to caring for one another in times of need. Their friendship and love for one another was unconditional. They supported and encouraged each other no matter what the circumstance was in life. As true friends, they walked through life always together. Linda was a hardworking student, well liked and a high-spirited cheerleader. Cheering for John on the football sidelines her junior and senior years were some of her favorite high school memories. The loyal and devoted cheerleader in her never put down her pom poms, as she would go on to cheer for her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters for every sport that they competed in from grade school to high school. Following graduation from Rensselaer High School in 1964, Linda married the love of her life, John, on September 17, on the Marine Corps. base in Parris Island the day he graduated from Basic Training Camp. As a dutiful Marine Corps. wife, she would go on to live in Camp LeJeune with John and later her daughter, Jacqueline, while he served his country in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968. Their undying loyalty and love for one another carried them through this time. He often credited his love for Linda and their daughter as being the catalyst that helped him persevere during his darkest times at war. As John fought serving on the front lines and performing recon work in Northern Vietnam, he would still take the time to write Linda a love letter every two weeks. He would remind her how much he loved her and their baby girl and couldn't wait to return home and be reunited. This devotion and care for one another carried them through their entire lives together. After John returned from Vietnam to his family and was honorably discharged after four years in the Marine Corps., Linda and John returned to the city of Rensselaer to be near family and friends. While John went to work for the Carpenters Union Local #117 in constructing the Empire State Plaza, Linda enjoyed her time as a mother and homemaker. Once Linda's children were of school age, she became actively involved with the Rensselaer Parent Teacher Association, Rensselaer Brownies and Girl Scout Troops. She became a troop leader who was happy to plan and chaperone every event, she worked tirelessly on every cookie and calendar sale. Linda would go on to work as a teacher's aide for the Rensselaer Elementary school for a few years. She loved working with children and often took those less fortunate under her wing and would pay special attention to them, giving them guidance and showering them with special gifts. In 1981, she started her 31-year career with The Business Council of New York State Insurance Fund. While employed with The Business Council she not only pursued a career for herself, but once again established lifelong friendships and a second family with her supervisors and co-workers, Bob Crandall, Mark Navin, Teri Wilson, Ellen Fobare, Colleen DeMichele, Belle Hanson, Shirley Piper, Lynn Smith, Lori Stager, Joanne Cholakis, Pam Barlow, Missy Millett, Sue Mateja, Bob Ward, Ed Reinfurt and Lois Hill. Linda absolutely loved this group of people and was proud to be a member of this organization. She was dedicated, conscientious and "mothered" many; she never forgot someone's birthday and thoroughly enjoyed dressing to the nines for meetings and corporate events. Always the fashionista, she delighted in wearing a new suit with fabulous shoes that would complement the outfit perfectly. She retired on May 31, 2012, as the manager of customer retention for large accounts in style and to spend time with her family. One of the highlights for her while working at the business, was attending and working the annual meeting held at The Sagamore Resort. She loved being with her second family at this event and would make it her shopping life mission to find the perfect dress, suit or gown. Speaking of shopping, next to the love of her family and close friends, and mentoring others... shopping was a true passion of Linda's in life. If she knew someone was looking for a hard-to-find toy for their child for Christmas, an outfit for a special occasion, or needed a baby gift, Linda would find it. Before there was an internet, she would spend hours perusing the sales fliers, driving store to store, and would even stand in line starting at 4 a.m. to make sure she could secure and land the deal. Her family and friends would often joke that she missed her professional calling as a "private buyer." This tenacity was extremely helpful during the pandemic as she was able to locate hard to find items for herself and others. Linda enjoyed countless trips to the Reading, Pa. shopping outlets with her close friends Helen and George Farrell, Laura Wands and Lin Rhau. They not only enjoyed fellowship but rejoiced over bargains and the ability to make everything fit in two vehicles! Next to shopping, mentoring others was a god given gift that she had even during times of adversity. In November of 1997, Linda was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. She faced this life challenge with grace, strength, and dignity. She never complained and only missed a few days of work during countless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Fighting for more time with her family and good friends. With her daughter's assistance, she drove from Albany to New York looking for the perfect wig to match her hair so no one would know the true perils in her life. She believed a strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars. A 25-year survivor of breast cancer, over the course of these years Linda would go on to counsel and mentor friends, co-workers, and friend's children as they battled this dreaded disease. Offering guidance, books, tips for coping and nausea, she would take phone calls, home visits, and send cards of encouragement. She personally fought her own battle with grace, courage and strength never letting anyone truly know the depths of her pain while working to look her best. "Better to look good... then to feel good" was her personal motto. She honestly felt that if you applied a little makeup and put on a nice outfit it would emotionally and psychologically lift your spirits! Linda was a news junkie who would read a newspaper and then watch MSNBC around the clock, loved talking politics, enjoyed family vacations in Ocean City, N.J., Aruba, Cancun, Cayman Islands and Bermuda, and loved to end her night watching the First 48 hours.

The only thing that meant more to Linda in life was the profound love for her family. Next to her John, the world revolved around her daughter, Jacqueline, son-in-law, Michael, granddaughters, Kirsten and Skyler, grandson, Dominick, and surrogate granddaughter, Maddie. Affectionately called Mema, she had every extracurricular event, piano recitals, St. Pius X concerts and plays and sporting events marked on her calendar. She would make a point to go extra early to always get front row seats as she didn't want to miss a minute of her girls' lives. She never failed to shower them with love, compliments, cookies and often bouquets of flowers. Their happiness and success in life filled her heart and no one was prouder of this group. Just like their Papa, Mema forever left an imprint on all of their hearts and souls.

Linda is survived by daughter, Jacqueline Dunn and her husband, Michael of Loudonville; her son, Matthew Chesbro of Rensselaer; her beloved granddaughters, Kirsten Dunn-Belarge and her husband, Dominick of Schodack Landing, and Skyler Dunn of Loudonville; her surrogate granddaughter, Maddie DiNardo of Albany; her aunt, Kitty Wates of Edgefield, S.C.; her cousins, Vernon and Robin Wates of Edgefield, S.C., Lee Wates and Gretchen Farber of Atlanta, Ga., Kevin Wilson of Schenectady, Barbara Wilson Snitchler and her husband, Norman of Rochester, Christopher Snitchler and his wife, Kristy of Rochester, Andrea Snitchler Miller and her husband, Jeff of Pennsylvania, Judi, Brian, Rick and Deanna Wilson of Berne, Kathy Vandenbergh and her husband, David, and Yvonne Snider of Nashville, Tenn., and many other cousins; her wonderful friends, especially Helen and George Farrell, Laurie Wands, Lin Rhau, Bill and Arlene Carroll, Dennis Puls, Kay and Michael Sheridan, and Mary Tobin; and her beloved fur-babies, Annie, Brave, Sox, Mama and Hank.

Her family would like to extend their deepest gratitude and sincere appreciation to the Community Hospice of Albany County for their time, compassion and care of Linda for the last ten months. A private graveside service and interment will be held in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery. Linda will be laid to rest in the family plot next to her beloved John for eternity. Rest in peace warrior goddess as your battle has ended. In lieu of flowers, Linda personally requested that all contributions be made "In Memory of Linda Chesbro" to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Those inclined may donate through St. Jude Children's Research Hospital website,

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