Linda Osmundson's memorial service to be held at The Palladium
The memorial service for Linda Osmundson, the former executive director of CASA, is scheduled for Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at The Palladium Theater.
It's a homecoming of sorts for Osmundson. The Palladium, at 253 Fifth Ave. N., which was built in 1925, was the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, until the congregation decided to sell the building in 1998 and moved to a new location. Osmundson, a lifelong Christian Scientist, became a member of First Church when she first landed in St. Petersburg. The Pastor of Christian Science churches are the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The services are comprised of readings from these books by "lay readers" elected from the membership. At the time of the sale of the building, Osmundson was one of those elected readers. After the sale of the building, it became The Palladium Theater.
Here's the announcement of Osmundson's memorial service, which, the family wants to make clear, the community is invited to attend:
Celebration of Life for Linda Osmundson
Recently Retired Executive Director of CASA - Community Action Stops Abuse for 26 years
2 PM, January 22, 2016
The Palladium Theater
253 5th Avenue, North
St. Petersburg Florida 33701
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the CASA Sunshine and Hope Campaign for the new shelter:
PO Box 414
St Petersburg FL 33731
or online here
Osmundson's friend, Fawn Germer, wrote the below obit:
Linda Osmundson 1949 - 2016
By Fawn Germer
Linda Osmundson, an unrelenting advocate and leader in the fight against domestic violence died Jan. 4 having saved countless lives. She was 66.
She was a devoted wife, a true friend, a daring adventurer, and a steadfast believer in God.
A celebration of life will be held in her honor and memory at 2 p.m., Jan. 22, in the Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
As executive director of Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), Osmundson stared down lawmakers and governors, naysayers and critics. She took CASA from a staff of 5 to a staff of 80. She started with a 22-bed shelter and did not stop until her vision of a 100-bed shelter for battered women was realized. "La Casa de Linda Osmundson" opened in July.
Her vision led to the creation of support groups, a 24-hour domestic violence hotline and outreach that included training and education for children as well as law enforcement and community members. She fought tirelessly to gain clemency for battered women who had killed their abusers in self-defense.
Osmundson retired in June after 26 years at CASA, a hero in her community and a national voice for victims of violence. She also led programs for battered women in Gainesville and West Palm Beach.
In her 50s, Osmundson got back on her bicycle and tore up the roads, touring in many states and even daring to cycle a 52-day odyssey from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 2006.
Cyclng brought her to the love of her life - Maurice Kurtz III - whom she met in 2005 and married in 2011. Their years together were short, but their adventures were long. They cycled thousands of miles together and traveled throughout the U.S. and to Kenya, Nairobi and the Netherlands.
Osmundson was born in Phoenix, Ariz., where she lived until her family relocated to California when she was in high school.
She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California Santa Barbara 1971 and a master's in public administration from University of Southern California in 1984.
She is survived by Kurtz, step-daughter Jennifer Kurtz Wiggins, sisters Karen Osmundson of Watsonville CA, Judy Osmundson of Ferndale, WA, and Wendy Osmundson of Los Angeles, Ca. Neices and nephews include Kira Fahey, Carl and Eric Nelson, and Hannah and Olivia Huffman.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the new domestic violence shelter at CASA via www.casa-stpete.org/shelter.
Contributions can also be mailed to: CASA - Community Action Stops abuse, P.O. Box 414, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.