Linda J. Span


Last updated 12/3/2020 at 1:09pm

Linda J. Span

Linda J. Span, RN, passed on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. She was born the first child of E.C. Gresham and Jean V. Gresham in Colorado Springs, Colo. Since her father was a career officer in the Air Force, Linda traveled the world with her parents and siblings. She attended 22 different schools near Air Force bases by the time she was 18.

After graduation from high school in Montgomery, AL, Linda pursued a career as a registered nurse. She graduated from Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Cal-State-Humboldt State University. Linda often said Lutheran Medical School made her a nurse and she wore her Lutheran Medical School pin to work every day of her career.

Linda started her 44-year marriage to John Span, who she met when she was 7, and her nursing career in Arcata, Calif. Linda's first RN position was with Mad River Community Hospital. She moved quickly from staff nurse to day shift supervisor.

After 20 years of nursing management assignments, she was recruited by Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Wash., to manage the medical surgical floor. Linda was ultimately promoted to director over five departments at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital. Linda's success was not only found in promotions. She measured her success in her heartfelt passion for mentoring new nurses to succeed.

Linda and John's home was their sanctuary away from work. Linda spent many hours tending her gardens, reading, knitting, quilting, and making jellies. She had an open invitation to friends and family to come to her retreat. The serene setting of their home allowed anyone who came to escape into the whispering pines. Linda's religious sanctuary was found in her lifelong devotion to the Lutheran Church. She held many positions within the congregation. At the time of her death she was the church council president.

Linda and John loved to travel. She especially enjoyed free diving on the coral reefs of the South Seas. Trips to Tahiti, Australia, and Hawaii released her inner child as soon as she put on her mask and dove into the turquoise waters of the South Pacific. Linda and John's lives also focused on trips to Europe. Linda loved the history that is Europe. They filled their days with cooking schools, art galleries, and WWII museums. Their travels brought Linda to Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, where she was over-whelmed when she found herself standing in front of the doors of the church where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses. Linda found the stories about Katharina Luther financially supporting Martin in his theological pursuits to be the age-old story of women.

Linda is survived by her husband John Span, her mother Jean Gresham, her siblings and their spouses; Steve (Blanca) Gresham, Cathy (Richard) Landers, and Douglas (Carol) Gresham. Her father preceded her in death in May 2020. Linda will be interred in Eureka, Calif, near her grandfather C. D. Gresham and many of her husband's family.

A celebration of life will be held for Linda and her father when COVID-19 is under control. In memory of Linda J. Span, RN: May she rest in peace with her family and God.

Cheney Funeral Chapel, Cheney, Wash. Online guest book at


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