Dr. Rev. Linda Kersten

August 29, 1943 ~ May 24, 2020 (age 76)


Rev. Dr. Linda Kersten, age 76, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2020, at Tower Hill Healthcare Center in South Elgin, Illinois.

She was born August 29, 1943 in Oceanside, New York, the daughter of Howard and Eleanore (Engelke) West.

Linda grew up in various communities on Long Island, taking piano lessons and singing in church choirs from an early age. Linda married Arnold M. Walker, Jr. and moved to northwestern Wisconsin in September 1961. They spent five years in Siren, Wisconsin where Linda taught piano lessons, directed children’s choirs, and gave birth to three children: Peggy Sue, Paul Arne, and Peter Lee. In 1966, Arne accepted a call to Grace Lutheran, Lily Lake, Illinois. They raised their children in Lily Lake, adding Mark David in 1969. Linda continued teaching piano lessons and began her quest for education at Elgin Community College, graduating in 1978. During those years, Linda sang women’s barbershop and was a substitute organist. In December 1981, Linda graduated from Northern Illinois University. She continued her education, eventually earning her doctorate in Adult and Continuing Education. Linda was remarried to Orv Kersten in November 1987. Linda continued her education at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and was ordained in August 1996, at Zion Lutheran Church in Rockford. She served parishes in Freeport, Sterling, Estherville, IA, and Janesville, WI, before retiring in January 2007. Linda enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren. She loved life and had a compassionate heart.  She loved to share her gifts of music, speaking, and writing.  She will be dearly missed.

Linda is survived by her children: Peggy Hatch, Paul (Joy) Walker, Pete Walker, and Mark (Rebecca) Walker; grandchildren Thomas and Peter, Anne Scott and Jillian, Charlene and Allison, and Michael, Sam, and Aaron; step-children Becky (David) Myroth, Brett Kersten and Elizabeth, Laura (Brock) Sanderson, Grant Kersten, and Tara Kersten; step-grandchildren Jacob, Paige, and Brooke Myroth, and Trent, Talon, and Trace Mencias; siblings Christine (Douglas) Dobert and Mark (Carol) West; and many other dear relatives and friends. 

Linda was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Orville “Orv” Kersten, her daughter-in-law Camille Walker, and her step-son Brad Kersten. 

A Memorial Service for Linda will be held privately at Geneva Lutheran Church, 301 S. 3rd Street, Geneva, Illinois, with Pastor Trudy Stoffel officiating. The service will be streamed on the Geneva Lutheran YouTube Channel

Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for Parkinson’s research at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, Maryland, 21741-5014 or online at

Arrangements are being handled by Malone Funeral Home, Geneva.

For information:  630-232-8233 or

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