Durango resident Linda L. Willmett died after a long battle with a number of illnesses Friday, April 6, 2012, at her home. She was 70.
She was born to Ruth and Frank Smith on July 11, 1941, in Belle Fourche, S.D. Raised as an Army brat, she grew up in many places, including Anchorage, Alaska.
After her father finished his military service, the Smith family lived in Phoenix, where Mrs. Willmett graduated from high school.
After high school, she worked as a flight attendant for a while, then went to beauty school and got her cosmetology license.
On March 4, 1961, she married John R. Ritter Jr. The couple had a son, Christopher. The marriage later ended in divorce.
In 1973, Mrs. Willmett moved to Durango, where she worked for Cetchpole Beauty Shop and The Hair Depot. For many years, she also did hair for Hood Mortuary.
On Aug. 30, 1980, she married Don Willmett at the Willmett family property near Bayfield. She worked as a bookkeeper with her husband at Pine River Auto Supply in Bayfield, until her health forced her to work from home.
One of her favorite things was to spend a long weekend at a cabin in Lake City. She was an avid reader, and she loved to go to the libraries in Bayfield and Durango. She loved her family and her pets, her family said.
Mrs. Willmett is survived by her husband of 31 years, Donald Willmett, of Durango; son, Christopher Ritter, of Durango; stepdaughters Jewel Dougharty and Donna Willmett, both of Pueblo, and Susan Baker of Commerce City; stepson, Edward Willmett, of Durango; eight grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, 2012, at Florida Mesa Presbyterian Church, 1024 County Road 230. The Rev. Dan Straw will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Linda Willmett Memorial Fund at Pine River Valley Bank in Bayfield.