Linda Woods Catalena, 78, of College Station, TX, passed away at her home on March 29, 2023. She was beautiful inside and out. Everything she did was motivated by love: love for God, her family, her friends, complete strangers, and, of course, her animal friends.
Linda was born on Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral Florida on August 16, 1944. She was raised in Merritt Island, Florida in a home built in 1905 by her grandfather Clarence Lucas. This heaven on earth for her was surrounded by orange groves on the Indian River.
In her childhood days, she went to the same school her mother had attended. At Cocoa High School she was a baton twirling majorette. One of her favorite high school memories was twirling with her high school marching band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. During these years, Linda and her sisters Michaele and Kay would climb out of Michaele’s bedroom window to watch the launches from Cape Canaveral including Alan Shepard’s historical launch as the first American to travel to space.
After high school, Linda graduated from Orange Memorial Hospital’s Orlando Regional School of Nursing and took her first nursing job in New Orleans. There, she gained valuable experience in plastic and open heart surgery. It was in New Orleans that she met her husband Pete.
Pete, a native of Bryan, ultimately brought Linda to Texas. Her nursing career was invaluable to Pete and Linda as they grew their family over the years. She used her experience in cardiothoracic O.R. settings as a founding member of the cardiac surgery program at St. Joseph Hospital where she worked for over 20 years. When she wasn’t working, she gravitated to lakes and sporting events. Linda was present for her Aggies at almost every home football, basketball, and baseball game for decades until just weeks prior to her passing. Countless fans grew to know and love her generous and lively spirit.
When she retired, TJ Maxx became her office and her grandkids were her world. She was happiest lunching or playing cards with friends and spending time with grandkids. As a grandmother, there was no adventure too big or too small. She also volunteered with George Bush Library, The Woman’s Club, March of Dimes, Scotty’s House, The American Heart Association, Meals on Wheels, and the PALS tutoring program. Linda was happiest when she was doing things for others.
Over the last few years Linda fought a ferocious battle with multiple myeloma. The family would like to thank her close friends, her incredibly supportive doctors, Dr. Fleener of Cancer Clinic in Bryan/College Station and Dr. Weber of MD Anderson, and especially her sister Michaele Jackson and dear friend Judy Turbiville for the incredible care they provided.
Linda is survived by her sister Michaele Jackson; sons, Cody (Lorin) and Brent Catalena; daughter, Brooke Amador (Aaron); grandchildren, Cole, Kate, Caleb, and Charli Catalena, and Lucas, Woods, and West Amador; sister-in-law Carolyn Catalena; brother-in-law Jim Grooms; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Pete, parents Russell and Ada Mae Lucas, sister Kay Grooms, and brother-in-law Sammy Catalena.