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Friday, December 1, 2023


Jan. 23, 2004 – Linda Anne Quenzel, a multi-disciplined artist and talented entrepreneur, died on Jan. 12 in John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, Calif., following a relatively short struggle with pancreatic cancer.
She had come to St. Croix as part of the U.S. Vista Corps in the early 1960s, and continued to live on St. Croix for more than 25 years.
Born in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 31, 1942, Quenzel and her family lived in El Cerrito, Calif., for about nine years; they moved to Kensington in the Oakland hills for another five years before moving to Lafayette in 1956, where many of her family members still reside.
After graduating from Acalanes High School, she attended several semesters at Diablo Valley College. In the early 60's she responded to President John F. Kennedy's call for young people to serve in the Vista Corps, and came to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she taught disadvantaged children.
Speaking little Spanish herself, and expected to teach children who spoke little or no English, she took her pupils on exploration trips across the island of St. Croix, introducing them to the world of possibilities. Her exploration projects ranged across all nature of work and education adventures, from the police and fire departments to local craft and product manufacturing centers; from marketplaces to centers where foreign visitors congregated to learn about life in the Virgin Islands.
In time, she graduated from college in St Croix, with a degree in business administration and accounting. She worked in a variety of local businesses including a job as a purchasing agent and expediter at Hess Oil. She loved the Virgin Islands and continued to live on St. Croix for 25-plus years.
An avid artist since childhood, she developed and matured her many artistic skills recording the colorful life and times that she experienced on the islands. Skilled in many mediums — painting, printmaking, photography, arts and crafts using local natural plant materials (banana leaf dolls, seed necklaces, natural teas, for example) — she sold her creations in the local tourist gift shops, such as "Many Hands" in Christiansted. Some of her best watercolor paintings were created while on a trip to Africa, specifically to Zimbabwe.
Quenzel represented the U.S. Virgin Islands as an official chess participant in one of the Olympic competitions.
She returned to California, to live in Pleasant Hill, in 1997. She returned to Diablo Valley College to explore ceramics and to elaborate on her printmaking skills. Her artwork has adorned the cover of magazines, calendars and books.
She is survived by her son, Clinton Carl Quenzel, who was born in St. Croix, and who now resides in Walnut Creek; her mother and father, Edwin and Nancy Quenzel of Lafayette; her sister, Karen Jarrett of Alamo, Calif.; her brother, Randy Quenzel of Lafayette; and several nieces and nephews.
Linda Quenzel preferred that no public services be held. Contributions may be made to the local American Cancer Society.

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