Linda Jochems

Linda Kay Jochems

Friday, April 24th, 1942 - Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
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Linda Kay Jochems (Sheldon) of Battle Creek, MI went home to Jesus on December 10, 2019. She was born on April 24, 1942 in Battle Creek, MI to Louise and Russell Sheldon. At the age of 1, Linda suffered an ear infection that led to her becoming deaf. While most people perceived her deafness as an affliction, Linda wore it as a badge of honor. She started her education at the age of 4 at the Lutheran School for the Deaf in Detroit, MI. She then transferred to the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, MI from which she graduated in 1962. Afterwards, she went to Central Bible College in Springfield, MO where she graduated with her associate’s degree.

Linda met the love of her life, Charles Jochems, at the Tri-State Bible camp. He was swimming in the swimming pool to cool down on a 108 degree day, when he noticed a beauty walking near the pool dressed in a wool suit. She caught his attention and his heart that day. It was love at first sight. After the camp had concluded, the pair wrote letters to one another which quickly led to a proposal, and an engagement. Eight and a half months after meeting, the happy couple was married on May 4, 1973 at the Springfield Assembly of God. Their honeymoon was spent in Washington D.C. where they found a deaf community that welcomed them. They moved to Alexandria, VA where they began their lives, and their family, together. Along with being a homemaker, Linda was actively involved with the deaf community and the deaf church. In 1990, the family moved to Battle Creek, MI where she quickly connected with the Christian deaf community.

While Linda did not maintain a full time job outside of her home, she was a full time mom. She taught her children to have a strong moral compass, how to love, and how to forgive. She taught them that all people are equal, regardless of how they may be different from one another. While other people perceived her as limited due to her deafness, Linda proved them wrong. Her stubbornness and tenacity was a force of nature through which she forged a loving family with a deep devotion to one another.

Through her words and her actions, Linda shared her knowledge of American Sign Language and deaf culture with her children, her church, and her community. This was perhaps the greatest gift that she could bestow upon her children. This intrinsic appreciation of ASL, deaf culture, and the deaf community led all three of her children to live and work within the deaf community, which was a source of pride for Linda throughout her life.

Linda is survived by her husband Charles Jochems, and her children and grandchildren. Johanna (Shayn) Wyman, Carley Wyman, Landon Wyman; Lera (Mark) Lowrie, Dominic Lowrie, Nathaniel Lowrie; Jason Jochems, Danielle Epstein. Her brothers Duane (Sally) Sheldon, Russell Sheldon, and Kent Sheldon; and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends too numerous to name, but not forgotten.

The memorial service will be held at Baxter Funeral Home, 375 W. Dickman Road, Battle Creek on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00. With the family receiving friends 2 hours prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Linda Jochems name to Glenn Arbor Hospice Residence of Battle Creek.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, December 15th, 2019 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm
    Sunday, December 15th, 2019 1:00pm - 3:00pm
    Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service
    375 W. Dickman Road
    BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Sunday, December 15th, 2019 | 3:00pm
    Sunday, December 15th, 2019 3:00pm
    Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service
    375 W. Dickman Road
    BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Andrew and carol saunders and Lizzy and Frank Bystrycki sent flowers to the family of Linda Kay Jochems.
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Jan Winiarski

Posted at 04:28pm
Linda and her husband Charles were my friends the many years we lived in Battle Creek. She was always very patient with me as I was learning to interpret worship services for the deaf at our church. Linda's deep love for her Lord was obvious to anyone who held conversation with her. Her sense of humor and her gracious hospitality were always extended to me and others who had the joy of knowing her here. I know the first thing she wished to hear was her Lord and Savior speaking to her. I bet those words were, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter into your Master's joy - and, WELCOME HOME!"

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 10:27am
Sent with love and remembrance, from brother and sister, uncle and aunt, Bill and Jane
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Andrew and carol saunders

Posted at 10:17am
So sorry for your lost
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Andrew and carol saunders purchased flowers for the family of Linda Jochems. Send Flowers


Lizzy and Frank Bystrycki

Posted at 11:20pm
Dear Jochems Family, We are very sorry for your loss of your Mother. Our hearts are with you. With Love, Lizzy and Frank Bystrycki
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Lizzy and Frank Bystrycki purchased the Your Light Shines and planted a memorial tree for the family of Linda Jochems. Send Flowers


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