Linda Pease has contributed to the Huntsville community for almost five decades. Having moved here in 1972, Ms. Pease spent the next 47 years making Huntsville a better place. So it was fitting that the community spent months planning for a three-hour ceremony on Thursday, October 24, 2019, giving citizens the opportunity to express their appreciation for Pease’s tireless work.
As expected, more than 100 people showed up, and this included, of course, the LEAP Ambassadors, all of whom have been touched by Pease in numerous ways. Indeed, several LEAP alumni showed up from out of town, while others from Washington state (Constance Gabel) to Washington, DC (Justin Veillon), sent cards or gifts.
The event was organized by the Friends of the Wynne, with Nancy Gaertner leading the way.
The house and grounds were decorated…
…catering was provided…
…and SHSU provided a quartet…
The most important part of the evening, however, was for guests to spend time with Linda Pease, and to say, “thank you.”
Pease worked for the City for 44 years, working in the Library, heading the LEAP program, and serving as the Cultural Arts Coordinator. Many of the City’s public sculptures are a result of Pease’s work; she helped establish the Main Street Program in Huntsville; she was almost solely responsible for the City’s “Cultural District;” she facilitated the transfer of the “Wynne Home” from the Wynne family to the City’s possession; and she was responsible for commissioning world-famous Richard Haas to do some 15 murals in the community. Indeed, Huntsville beats out New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, and Oakwood, IL, as having the most exterior Haas murals in the world. This is quite an accomplishment, given that the New York Times called Haas the “greatest architectural muralist of our time.”
In light of these achievements, it’s no surprise that she was given the SHSU Art Department’s Award “Supporter of the Arts” in 2014. Department Chair Michael Henderson announced the award, saying, “If we gave this award to Linda for the next three years, we wouldn’t fully capture all she has done for the arts in our community.”
Equally unsurprising, Ms. Pease was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2018.
And, with Nancy Gaertner continuing her lead….
…and James Patton emceeing…
…many additional honors were bestowed on this night.
City Manager Aron Kulhavy announced that the Wynne Home porch would henceforth be the “Linda and Ralph Pease Porch.”
Roberta Plant presented Linda an art piece from Charles Pebworth (a close friend of Pease’s, before his passing earlier this year), a gift from Betty Moody…
…while Ilexus Williams and Maggie Denena….
…presented Linda with a flag flown over the Texas Capitol building, a gift from former Wynne Home Intern Lexi Gonzalez, who now works as Chief of Staff for State Rep. Hubert Vo.
Brian Aldaco, another former Wynne Home intern, presented Ms. Pease with a flag flown over the US Capitol building, an honor by Congressman Kevin Brady (for whom Aldaco now works).
And, of course, many more friends were on hand to enjoy the occasion.
Nicolay Dance Works also put on a performance (“Arabian Dance”) on the front porch–now the Linda and Ralph Pease porch!
It was, as expected, a wonderful evening in honor of a remarkable woman.
The Wynne Home has been an operational Art Center for approximately 13 years. Over that span, Ms. Pease supervised more SHSU interns than any other City supervisor (approximately 40) and the Wynne Home has offered some 500 classes to the community.