Born on June 3, 1946, Linda Hollins Seiffert Reynolds was a lifelong collector and artist. She made and collected objects of beauty and also collected friends, hobbies and adventures. Linda died of lung cancer on September 27, 2023.
Her older brother, Perry, remembers that Linda’s earliest collections included tidal pool treasures and pets at their childhood home in Rowayton, Conn., where they lived with their parents, Lola Baxter and Alfred Seiffert. They treasured their many summers roaming in the fields and woods of a family friend’s Woodstock, Vt., farm. At Northfield School, Linda collected friends who were drawn to her adventures and her casual disregard for silly rules. She went for walks in the then-forbidden ravine on campus. She gathered friends to read poetry aloud in the meadow on Round Top and entertained herself during study time by climbing around her room without touching the floor.
Her free spirit and love of the natural world found an outlet at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied studio art and was awarded the senior art prize. Upon graduation, she moved north for a summer job in Charlotte, Vt., working with Dan Kiley, a renowned landscape architect. She deepened her childhood connections with Vermont and its landscape.
In the early 1970s, Linda’s elegant, flowing handwriting on a housing opportunities post caught the eye of Harry Reynolds. When they met, she invited him to be one of the roommates in a shared house. After their marriage in 1980, they bought an old farmhouse in Monkton, where she lived for the rest of her life. In May 1982, Linda gave birth to their son, Will. As they raised their son and grew their collection of animals, she worked toward her teacher certification and began teaching art at Burlington High School. There she designed and taught a commercial art course which became a statewide curriculum for students wanting to learn professional skills. After Linda and Harry divorced, Linda continued her country life, surrounded by her animals and a loving community of friends. It was during these years that she began pursuing her passion for watercolor landscape painting.
Linda was a lover of color, form and the natural world. A true artist, she was always engaged in many creative projects at once. She was an avid gardener. She was a writer of poetry and thoughtful notes to friends. She loved to cook and enthusiastically shared food with others, including as a volunteer cook at the Charlotte Senior Center. Her beautiful farmhouse was bursting at the seams with amazing found objects and an eclectic collection of antiques, pottery, wood and glass. She learned to work with metal sculpture, glassblowing, lithography and jewelry while experimenting with new forms of watercolor, even painting landscapes on hollowed eggs. A fellow artist remarked that Linda’s house was her latest and greatest piece of installation art.
Linda was unabashedly colorful and full of energy. She was active in many communities and attracted a diverse group of friends. As an art teacher for more than 30 years at Burlington High School and Mount Abraham Union High School, she helped thousands of students better observe and appreciate their surroundings. She was a dowser, regularly attending American Society of Dowsers conventions. She was the first American breeder of the Mudi, a Hungarian herding dog. She sang with the choir at the Charlotte Congregational Church, where her artwork often adorned the walls of the vestry and her calligraphy is embossed on the hymn book covers. She initiated a “full moon” group of women who met monthly for decades to kayak, picnic or gather around a fire beneath the full moon. She was a breast cancer survivor and made many friendships with other survivors she met at the physical therapy pool.
Linda was always an animal lover. Her horses, chickens, cats, dogs, goats, mice and fish inspired her drawings, sculptures and paintings and brought her great joy and laughter. Linda was never without a camera and amassed boxes of prints and more than 50,000 digital images.
Nothing brought Linda more joy than her son, Will Reynolds. Linda treasured all of their times together — from international expeditions to quiet walks along the Maine beach and shared laughter over mugs of tea at home. Linda was deeply grateful for Will’s constant company in her last months and to his partner, Mira Kier, and their son, Ezy, for their love and support as Will cared for her at her Monkton farmhouse. As she wished, Linda’s final days were full of friends and family. She was surrounded by laughter, art, music, poetry, homegrown zinnias, healing crystals and wonderful food. She took her final breaths beneath the light of the rising moon, as her beloved church choir sang a farewell hymn.
Linda’s legacy is as rich, layered and beautiful as the walls of her art-filled farmhouse. She is deeply missed by her friends and family, especially her brother, Perry Seiffert, and his family, of Bethesda, Md.; her son, Will, his partner, Mira, and their son, Ezy, of Longmont, Colo.; and many cousins. A memorial will be held on November 12, 2023, 3 p.m., at the Charlotte Congregational Church.
If you are inspired to honor Linda, please consider a donation to 5-Town Friends of the Arts or the Charlotte Senior Center or write a letter or gift a beautiful found object to a treasured friend.