Linda Laird Kelsey Armbruster
July 21, 1948 :: Minneapolis, Minnesota
December 29, 2018 :: Swedish Hospital, Englewood, Colorado
Linda Laird was a little girl but was larger than life! She was determined, persistent but kind, generous, nonjudgmental and extremely well read, and sensitive to the downtrodden and weary. She was raised by affluent parents and a loving grandmother and her grandmother’s wisdom.
Her grandfather, Claire Davis, was a wildcat oilman and along with his partner, Frank Phillips, started what became Phillips Petroleum. Two dreamers, who hit it big in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Not all was easy, for wildcat oilmen back then, as danger was common, so her grandfather kept the family in Minneapolis, and commuted to Bartlesville. With a less volatile environment, Donna Davis became Donna Laird and Linda became Linda Laird, wife and daughter of Douglas Laird. VP of Pillsbury.
Linda soon was introduced to ballet and became a young ballerina and danced with the best for many years.
If the name Laird “rings a bell”, it should! Her uncle was Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense under the Nixon Administration. No wonder she possessed the perseverance of a leader and a drive to succeed.
After high school, rock n’ roll and Mankato State, Linda met Ron Kelsey, a young, intelligent, soon to be successful Renaissance Man and made Linda Mrs. Kelsey. They raised two children, Heather and Sean. After life’s tragedy, and the loss of her daughter, Linda was divorced and took her son and moved to Denver, Colorado, where she ran the Saks 5th Avenue Club and made her mark of success with Saks.
From her high school success with modeling for Seventeen Magazine, this beautiful young lady now had major responsibilities as a single mother, a young son, and a new challenge which she handled very confidently. Her qualities with people served her well at Saks 5th Avenue and she propelled the 5th Avenue Club beyond management’s expectations.
Linda dressed the elite women of Denver and was given the highest acknowledgment by the CEO of Saks, New York. He referred to Linda as “exceptional – beyond belief!”
So, it wasn’t any wonder, Bob Armbruster came upon a powerhouse lady with genetic credentials! When I interviewed Linda for a Sales Associate position, and suddenly realized I couldn’t afford this young, beautiful, bright, vivacious lady, chemistry took over and I pursued a different approach. “I courted this girl” and a precious memory.
Shortly after her success, Linda met a young Apparel Sales Representative named Bob Armbruster and they were married at Calvary Temple. Linda frequently and humorously commented to Bob “You married up Bob – good job.” To this day, this was the best thing I ever did and life became truly a pleasure with Linda in my life. She brought so many powerful adjustments to my life. I became a better person and a better husband and father.
After four months Linda was told she had Breast Cancer, Bob told Linda he had lost his main Apparel Line, so they sat down and planned how they would tackle the new life’s challenges. They both had determination and after several years, they accomplished their plan, but not without more of life’s surprises and disappointments.
Linda went through rigorous medical procedures and Bob had to put together new Apparel Lines, but they persevered together and trusted the wisdom they asked the Lord for.
Linda had Bremie “Golden Retriever” who took a nap with her every day she had a chemo or radiation procedure. Yes, Linda beat breast cancer, but not until the chemo damaged her heart, which brought new issues for her to live with!
Time tends to take it’s toll, in this case! I found her to be my true hero, with an abundance of courage, never complaining and always believing she could overcome her new painful issues. She always said ‘if it isn’t a matter of life or death, get over it.” Don’t whine and complain!
Linda ran a good race with pain and suffering, but her odds were higher than her heart strength.
She adored her grandson, Garrett Kelsey and often said she just wanted to live long enough to see her son have to take Garrett to pay a traffic offense! Dr. Kortz, her Breast surgeon, called her “Tiger” because of her comment when he told her she needed to grieve because she only had a few months before she would lose her life from her breast cancer, and her response was “Well we will see about that.” She was a true fighter through adversity!
On December 29, 2018, I spent the day with her at Swedish ICU and she said “Bobby, I don’t want to do this anymore. The pain and suffering all these years needs to be over.” And then shortly after that, she closed her eyes, her head drooped, and she was gone from our lives, but onto a better place where she could rest in peace. I will miss Linda Kelsey Armbruster so much, and for a very long time. Yes, she was exceptional in so many ways because how do you replace God’s best gift to Bob Armbruster!
She had a personal relationship with “Our Lord” or as she referred to Him “As the Big Guy” and I think she knew they were coming to take her home.
Linda was preceded in death by her daughter Heather Kelsey; husband, Ron Kelsey; sister, Lori; mother, Donna Davis Kegel; stepfather, Stan Kegel.
Linda’s Favorite Sayings:
“It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.”
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
“If it’s not a matter of life and death, get over it.”
Linda loved children
Linda loved deeply and loyalty was a must in her relationships with people.
Linda was always for the downtrodden and discriminated.
Linda always said, “Earn it or don’t take it.”
Linda “Can’t we all get along?”
Linda is survived by her son, Sean Kelsey; daughter-in-law, Heather Kelsey; grandson, Garrett Kelsey, husband Bob Armbruster, all of Denver, and stepbrother S.J. Kegel of Minneapolis.
We will always love you deeply Linda until we see you again. Your loving husband, Bob.