by freelance writer Rudy Schouten
In many ways, Linda Bradley’s life was a perfect reflection of Noble’s long history of serving people with disabilities.
Born with Down syndrome, Linda enrolled in Noble School a few years after it was founded in 1953, where she learned to read and write. In 1966, she entered Noble’s Home Arts program to focus on life and work skills, and transferred a year later to the brand new Noble Employment Services unit on East Market Street.
In 1980, she was among the first 25 people to begin working in the newly constructed commercial greenhouse on Tibbs Avenue. Her career path took her back to Industries West in 1994, where she packaged promotional material for Noble’s expanding list of employment partners.
When Linda retired in 2006, she had been a studious, productive force at Noble for 47 years, reflecting the organization’s history and mission in ways that went well beyond her timing. She was naturally adaptive, industrious, and proficient at whatever came next for her, and Noble supported Linda’s parents in helping her become everything she wanted to be.
In 2022, brother-in-law Rudy Schouten published her story. Linda – A Full Happy Life offers some perspective on how things have changed for people with Down syndrome. It also highlights the unique role she played as a member of the Bradley family.
In describing his book, Rudy notes: “Linda was born at a time when children like her were less likely to be welcomed into the world with open arms. But that never kept her from wrapping her arms warmly around the world. She found joy in it, learned from it, and spent her time in it making friends. Linda simply loved her way through life by loving the people she met and leaving them better and happier because of it.”
Rudy Schouten is a freelance writer who was moved to write this book to share the impact Linda made on everyone she met and the example she set for us all.