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Linda Chen

Linda Chen

Monday, November 25th, 1946 - Tuesday, February 9th, 2021
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Obituary

Linda Chen (Li Xin), a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother who endured forced relocation as a teenager from her birthplace of Shanghai to the Chinese countryside during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution before ultimately coming to the United States and devoting her life to the care and support of her many friends and relatives, passed away on February 9 with her husband and daughter by her side after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 74.
The eldest daughter of four to Li Zhao Fen and Lu Juming (both deceased), Linda was born on November 25, 1946 in Shanghai, China. At the age of 17, she was deprived of the opportunity for higher education and sent to work on a farm in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang. It was there that she met and fell in love with Winston Chen, who would become her devoted husband of 47 years. In 1979, after spending more than 13 years working in the countryside, she and Winston were given an opportunity to start a new life together in the U.S. While Winston pursued his college and masters degrees in computer science at U.C. Berkley, Linda worked seven days per week in a local restaurant to support his education. In 1985, following Winston’s graduation, they moved to New York City, where Linda gave birth to their only daughter, Nina. Linda spent the next 30 years of her life in the bucolic upstate New York town of Rhinebeck before she and Winston eventually relocated to the Boston area to help care for their grandsons, Jackson (5) and Lucas (3).
Described as selfless, loyal, generous, and brave by those who knew her, Linda always strived to make others feel at home. This is true both in the U.S., where Linda regularly hosted gatherings for friends from around the world at which she would prepare dozens of authentic Chinese dishes--including her renowned pork dumplings (shengjian boa)--as well as in China, where Linda returned often over the years to visit with and care for family and friends. Understanding the isolation one can feel in a new country, Linda never hesitated to welcome even distant relatives and acquaintances into her home for extended visits, offering support and advice as they acclimated to life in America. And to her daughter’s friends in college and law school, Linda attained near-mythical status, traveling to Boston every few weeks to cook elaborate meals with plentiful leftovers.
True to her character, Linda fought her cancer to the very end without complaint or self-pity. She will be deeply missed. In addition to her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons, Linda is survived by her three siblings and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Due to the challenges presented by COVID, a private service will be held for Linda on February 23. She will be buried at Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester, Massachusetts.
In Linda’s memory, her family is profoundly grateful for the overwhelming love and support they have received from so many during this difficult time.
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Sarah and Ronny

Posted at 01:23am
We will miss you dearly and look forward to playing Mahjong again one day.
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Posted at 05:14pm
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Nina.
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