Linda Burch Eiserloh

Published 10:50 am Friday, May 3, 2024

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Spartanburg— Linda Burch Eiserloh (82) departed the earth peacefully surrounded in love by her children and husband on April 30, 2024, in Spartanburg, SC following a brief battle with injuries resulting from a car accident.

Linda is survived by her husband of 52 years, Barney, her beloved children Brian and Beth, her “children-in-law” Rebecca and Wyeth, her doted-upon grandsons Ethan and Orno, her dear sister Mugsie, and many friends and family members. Too numerous to count are those who consider her to be “like a sister” or “a second mother,” and those whose lives have been touched – and healed – by Linda.

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A Service of Remembrance and Celebration will be held at The Congregational Church on Melrose Ave. in Tryon, NC on Tuesday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m., followed by a reception. In celebration of Linda’s love of flowers, please bring or send any flowers you would like (even flowers from your own garden!) to the church.

Linda Marshall Burch was born to her parents, Hobart A. Burch and Margaret Marshall Burch on August 2, 1941, in Elmira, NY. She was the fourth of five wonderfully unique and beloved children, preceded by sister Betty (Elizabeth), brother Hobe (Hobart Jr.), and sister Mugsie (Margaret), and followed by her baby sister Coralee (Katherine).

Her love of music began early on in a large and lively family, where singing harmony around the piano was as commonplace as cracking jokes (her father’s second specialty, after radiology). Her mother was an incredible and loving force of nature, leading songs and students and scouts and trips to Europe. Linda continued to play the guitar and sing – in English and French – throughout her life: as a camp counselor, mother, and member of more than one choir. She was a gifted storyteller, blessing those around her with her beautiful reflections, poignant memories, profound insights, colorful anecdotes, and spooneristic tales such as Prinderella and the Cince and her Gawdy Fairmother.

Linda graduated from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) in 1963 with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, followed by a Master’s in Social Work in 1966 from Washington University (St. Louis, MO), later obtaining a post-graduate Certification in Family Therapy from Northwestern University (near Chicago, IL).

She spent many years doing social work in inner cities – Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, MS; Inner-city Settlement House and Christopher House in Chicago, IL – before serving as an Instructor and Medical Social Worker at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

It was there in Chicago that she met her husband-to-be Barney (Bernard) Eiserloh, whom she frequently described as her “Clark Kent,” at the sailing club on Lake Michigan. Many of their first dates were spent sailing together, a tradition they would continue as they married in 1972 and grew their family to include Brian (in August of 1973, on Linda’s birthday) and Beth (Elizabeth) in April of 1977.

Linda became a licensed (ASCW / LCSW) therapist and began her private practice counseling individuals, couples, and families in Wheaton, IL which she continued for over 30 years (and beyond, pro bono).

Throughout her life, Linda loved the outdoors, and gardening became her meditation and communion with God, whom she saw most clearly through nature’s lens. At each of their houses, Linda’s lush, beautiful gardens exploded with vibrant colors, supported by Barney’s labor and sculptures.

Linda’s incredible spiritual journey has blossomed as she has helped and healed the lives of countless friends and clients. Her beliefs have been firmly rooted in the center of God As Love, and of nature as His expression. As she and Barney moved to Tryon, NC in their retirement, her healing ministry continued in many forms, touching lives and building beautiful connections with so many new friends while maintaining the old ones.

Listening, healing, gardening, singing, reading, and writing have been among Linda’s lifelong joys, and in later years she wrote prolifically, sharing numerous volumes of Words From The Dove; one collection (so far) of which has been published as Nurtured in Nature. Her life’s work as a “gardener of people” continues here on earth even as her spirit soars onward.


Brian Eiserloh
Carrollton, TX