FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Advocate for police officers, firefighters and public safety, Linda Vandeveer was laid to rest Monday.
Vandeveer was diagnosed in March with stage 4 liver cancer. The diagnosis was a tough blow for Linda and her husband Jerry, who had been married for 45 years and described themselves as “partners in everything.” Vandeveer passed away Thursday, September 29 at the age of 66.
Vandeveer was well known in the Fort Wayne community for the makeshift memorial and garden, called the Law Enforcement/Firefighter’s Memorial on Washington Center Road, which she and her husband raised funds to build. The memorial was built to honor officers and firefighters who were killed in the line of duty.
Vandeveer’s funeral service was held at First Assembly of God Church. Her burial was preceded by a full police and fire procession with the Fort Wayne Fire Department Pipe and Drumb Band from the church to the Law Enforcement/Firefighter’s Memorial. Vandeveer’s body was then taken to McComb’s Tribute Center at Main and Lindenwood Avenue to be buried.
Several county and city officials were in attendance, including Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux, Fort Wayne Director of Public Safety Rusty York, Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock, Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters, Fort Wayne Police Department Sergeant Kenneth Clement, and President of the Downtown Improvement District, Bill Brown. In total, over 100 people were in attendance including several other firefighters and police officers.
The flags at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter’s were lowered to half-mast, and flowers were placed at the memorial to honor Linda’s memory.