Linda K. Gurak, eldest daughter of Jennie Harris-Gurak passed away on Sunday afternoon, November 7, 2021. She turned 70 years old at the end of September 2021. She is survived by her siblings, Cynthia Naudziunas, Paul Gurak, Russell Gurak, and Susan Yach; she has many nieces and nephews and friends she made throughout the years as well.
Linda was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and spent her entire life in the state of Illinois. Linda was a COVID survivor, as well as the champion over many other health issues that hit her later in life. Through it all, up until her final days, Linda persevered — she never seemed to give up or let hard times ruin her day.
Linda was born with mental and physical delays which meant her life was lived differently than others, but Linda found her own meaning and purpose in this world. Her mother, Jennie Harris-Gurak cared for Linda for nearly 60 years before she entrusted her care to her daughter, Linda's younger sister Cynthia Gurak Naudziunas and Cynthia's husband, Joseph Naudziunas. Cynthia and Joseph have been taking care of Linda's very specific needs for over a decade as her legal guardians. Cynthia and Joseph contributed to Linda's medical needs in addition to being there for her emotional and social needs outside of her group home.
If you ever met Linda you would know that she was much more than how she was born. She had a really strong and unique personality with distinct likes and dislikes, had an explosively joyful laugh that would bubble over into your own if you let it, a love of good food and the occasional glass of wine, animals, especially dogs, a sense of humor, and a deep emotional connection to music. She loved to draw abstract crayon, pen, and pencil creations to express her emotions as well. One of Linda's coolest skills was her ability to recall the name and artist of a mind-bogglingly long list of songs upon just hearing the first few notes.
She was also a people person, and loved to make new friends and talk to new people — unafraid of saying hello and asking what "is your name?" She made many friends at many of the educational centers she attended throughout her life, and she loved to bond and create routines with others as a form of connection. She knew when someone was treating her fairly, and could sense when she was being accepted for who she was.
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