Researcher, lover of live bands
Linda Houser-Marko, 49, died on Jan. 9, 2020 after a year-long battle with leukemia. Born on July 20, 1970, her life was characterized by her deep love of family, learning, reading, and indie rock. As the youngest of three children, she was doted on by her parents Betsy and Bob Sr. and siblings Bob Jr. and Deborah in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She excelled as a student and played violin in orchestra at Washington Senior High. Her chemistry teacher dubbed her “Linda Bird who does her work” and thus her lifelong nickname, Linda Bird, was born.
In orchestra, she met her sweetheart and future husband Shaun Marko. After high school, Linda turned her love of books into a bachelor’s degree in English from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked as an executive assistant at Regional Hospital and enjoyed going out to see her favorite bands play and dancing at the clubs.
In 1995, she returned to Sioux Falls to marry Shaun. The couple lived briefly in Minneapolis and Del Rapids, South Dakota, before moving to Columbia, Missouri, so she could attend graduate school in psychology. During her decade at the University of Missouri, she studied, conducted research, went out to see bands play every chance she got, and gave birth to her daughters, Claire and Maggie. She earned a PhD in Social Psychology in 2007. The family moved to Oak Park that year to allow her to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago, after which she joined the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation in Chicago, where she worked as senior researcher until her death.
Please join in celebrating Linda’s life during visitation at Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home on Friday, Jan. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. and a funeral Mass at Ascension Catholic Church at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.