Cover photo for Linda Caren Muldoon's Obituary
Linda Caren Muldoon Profile Photo

Linda Caren Muldoon

October 26, 1942 — July 29, 2023

Appleton

Linda Caren Muldoon

 

Appleton has lost a talented artist and writer, great neighbor, loyal friend, and passionate preservationist. Linda Muldoon passed away on July 29, 2023 at Rennes Health & Rehab Center. She was born October 26, 1942 in Milton, Massachusetts to Arthur Frederick Muldoon and Carolyn May Coffin. She graduated from Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts. In 1964 she graduated from the UMass Amherst with a major in English and a minor in Education. She taught high school English in Willimantic, Conn. for a year, then moved to Berkley, California for several years where she worked as a writer.  By 1969 she was teaching English at John Marshall High School in Milwaukee. She also worked as a typesetter and proofreader for a graphic design firm. It was there she met her future husband, David Mroz.

Upon moving to Appleton in 1977, she lived in an historic home in what was then known as the Courthouse Neighborhood (now Old Third Ward) where she remained until the time of her death. Early in her time in Appleton she was the Assistant Director of the Appleton Gallery of the Arts, Community Relations Coordinator for the Appleton Public Library, and taught at Appleton’s Einstein and Madison Junior High Schools.

In 1978 Linda decided to give up teaching and take a risk on a career in art. It was then that she and David started their stained glass designing and fabricating business in that home in the Old Third Ward. Linda and David married on May 2, 1981 in Appleton. David survives her. Linda held other jobs until 1983 when she could finally pursue her artistic vision full time. Their first studio was Fantasy Glassworks where they carried out commissions in glass for private homes, commercial buildings, and churches. They also began restoring vintage stained glass windows. Linda commented in a 1987 Post-Crescent article that there was “much cursing of Old World craftsmen” during the process. During this time Linda and David continued to exhibit their own artwork.

Later in the 1980s the studio moved to W. College Ave. and became Coventry Glassworks, later Coventry Glassworks & Gallery. Here Linda continued to create art, provide an exhibit space, and teach. In 2019 Coventry Glassworks & Gallery changed hands when Linda and David decided to retire and sell the business.

In the fall of 1993, “at a routine safety meeting at the Appleton police station, [Old Third Ward] neighbors learned of a plan by the Outagamie County government to acquire and demolish five square blocks of homes for courthouse area parking expansion.” (from Old Third Ward Association history http://oldthirdward.org/assochistory.html) This plan directly affected not only Linda’s home but her entire neighborhood. Linda was one of the residents, led by the late Frank Council, who mobilized quickly, creating a steering committee, writing a mission statement and unanimously electing officers for the newly formed "Courthouse Area Neighborhood Association." This move would ignite Linda’s dedication to historic preservation. The neighborhood’s activism led by Frank and Linda would stave off a large portion of proposed development and save the bulk of the neighborhood’s historic homes. After Frank’s untimely passing in 1997, Linda remarked, “I was sort of the outspoken one, and Frank was polite. I’d sort of go off-the-cuff, and he’d make sure we were doing things correctly.”

Linda wrote numerous articles for the Old Third Ward Neighborhood Association’s newsletter and co-wrote the neighborhood’s walking tour brochure which won an award from the Outagamie County Historical Society, Later Linda would turn her attention to the creation of Pioneer Park and to saving Ellen Kort Peace Park from private development. She wrote letters and showed up and spoke at City Council meetings. She served on the boards of the Appleton Historical Society and the Old Third Ward Neighborhood Association where she was also Vice-President and President. She helped write the local Historic Preservation ordinance and was appointed to Appleton’s Historic Preservation Commission in 2000.

Linda was predeceased by her parents. In addition to her husband, Linda is survived by her brother Bruce Muldoon and his wife Judy; niece Katie Moustakas, her husband Demetri, and their sons Theo and Niko; and niece Kerry Blossfeld, her husband Tom, and daughter Wren. A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at her beloved Pioneer Park, S. Walnut St. and W. Prospect Ave., on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at noon. A tree will be planted there in her honor, joining the bench installed in 1998 to preserve the memory of Frank Council. All of those who loved Linda are invited to attend.

 

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