GUILDERLAND – Linda C. Mastro of Guilderland peacefully embraced the angels on her birthday, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, after an infinite, hopeless and relentless struggle with MSA. MSA is an extremely rare incurable progressive neurological disease that strikes only 3 out of every 100,000 people. To the bitter end as always, Linda displayed grace and dignity as she valiantly fought to maintain some small quality of life against an enemy with virtually no cure, no remission, and no treatment. She never complained but unselfishly agonized more about burdening her spouse and family.
Linda was the wonderful daughter of Elizabeth and Walter Condon; sister to her brother Gary(Deirdre); and a loyal, caring and supportive wife for 35 years to her husband, Christopher P. Mastro. Linda was a talented and respected teacher for over three decades in the Guilderland central school district, often instructing over 400 students a year. She stressed the importance of mutual respect, both in the classroom as well as in life. In 1986, she received an Excellence in Teaching award from SUNY Albany. Many of her classroom projects involved community service. Linda enjoyed frequent get-togethers, socializing, and reminiscing with her high school and college friends.
She was a voracious reader of mystery books and authors whenever time allowed and continued this pastime through audio books when her eyes failed due to her illness. Linda also enjoyed vacationing on the New England coast every summer and often in the fall for over three decades. Dining out, going to movies and attending hundreds of live concerts with Chris were also favorite pastimes. Her kind, caring manner and infectious dry sense of humor and wit resulted in a plethora of loyal, close friends and admirers. Her perpetual beautiful smile would always invoke the same endearing response from anyone who met her. Chris insisted that he never heard her speak an ill word of anyone. The courage, cooperation and effort she maintained to fight this progressive disease was a moving inspiration to us all. She truly was a special, angelic lady who deserved only the best in life.
Linda is predeceased by her loving parents Walter and Elizabeth Condon and her Great aunt May Condon. Also, she leaves behind her brother Gary(Deirdre) Condon, a niece Anne Condon and two nephews, Keith and Greg Condon. Also cousins Jim Roddy, Betsy Moynehan and Ron Campbell and many others too numerous to mention. Last, but certainly not least, she leaves behind her best friend, soulmate and devoted husband of 35 years, Christopher, who bravely served as her primary caregiver throughout this helpless, unbearably sad tortuous journey. In addition, we cannot neglect her loving and caring friends, many from her high school graduating class; others former teaching colleagues, who visited her and celebrated special days with her. Also, Thanks to her in-home Hospice team for their personal attention in the most difficult times. Dr. Kevin Costello, who became her primary internal medicine physician and made all his appointments in-home, was a true god-send for both Linda and Chris. He made himself available at all times, returned all Chris’ personal calls promptly and was the greatest listener. His wisdom, compassion and willingness to fight the medical bureaucracy and put his patients first is a glaring testimony to the medical profession. Community caregivers also played a positive role in Linda’s life, visiting, praying with her and oftentimes preparing much appreciated home-cooked meals.
Chris’ cousin, Corinne Derry, whom Chris now calls “the sister I never had”, played a pivotal role with weekly visits and preparing scrumptious gourmet level meals religiously, but it was her wisdom and consolation and listening skills that provided Chris support and inspiration when his caregiver role threatened to “break” him. Her in-home certified nurse assistants Alnita, Elizabeth. Kelly, Crystal, Elyza, Stephania and Ann not only provided her with invaluable and compassionate skill and attention, but genuinely became true members of our family. They often spoke of Linda’s courage, positive attitude, effort and thoughtfulness at all times, even in the latter stages of her illness before the dementia accelerated. Linda and Chris felt truly blessed to have met these women. To say they were significant is an understatement. Linda’s faith and daily good works provided her with strength and resiliency throughout her horrific ordeal. Indeed, her immeasurable loss is truly Heaven’s gain.
Arrangements will be handled by the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave in Albany, NY. Calling hours for family and friends will be held at the funeral home from 8:15am to 10:15am on Monday, followed by a mass of Christian burial at 11:00am in Christ the King Church, 20 Sumpter Ave in Albany, NY. Entombment will immediately follow at St. Agnes Cemetery on Broadway in Menands, NY. In lieu of flowers, greatly needed contributions may be sent to the Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA) research fund support group, 8311 Brier Creek Parkway, Suite 105-434, Raleigh, NC 27617. Rare diseases such as Linda’s desperately need funding to hasten the research in hopefully finding a cure. May God bless her and protect her. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.
With deepest sympathy to her loving family and friends, may you find peace as you share happy memories of Linda.
I worked with Linda for many years at the high school.What a great lady she was .Always positive, always radiant always with a sense of humor.She will be missed, but more importantly, she will be remembered.
So sorry for your loss of Linda, a truly inspiring woman. I’m glad I knew her as part of the FMS family.
Made the memories of her spirit console you at this difficult time.
Linda had a smile and a warm greeting for all who worked with her. With deepest sympathy to all her family.
Gary and Deirdre
Eternal rest give to her, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon her.
The Rothchild/ Lustick family
To Chris and Family: You’ve been Linda’s rock throughout her illness. Even when she wasn’t able to express it any longer, you must have certainly felt her love and appreciation. Find solace in the beautiful memories you have of this lovely woman. She was a gem!
My heart was saddened to hear of Linda’s passing. My prayers of healing and peace for the family. Linda has to be one of the most friendly and helpful staff members I worked with at FMS. She was a perfect role model for her students. I have only fond memories of Linda. I am placing Linda and and the family on the church prayer list here in South Carolina. Fondly, Larry
Barbara Jo Westcott
I was deeply sad to hear of Linda’s struggle and death. It was my pleasure to work with her. She was pure joy. Barbara Westcott
I am so sad to lose Linda. I loved her stories and her wry sense of humor. She saw life with that same tongue in cheek comedy. Lunches were never boring with Linda.
Chris, I hope you are filled with happy memories and moments.
Jackie Fox Robinson
With deepest sympathy for her family and friends. She will long be remembered for all her good works, wit and charm and her bravery in light of all her suffering. My God bless her and keep her.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.
– Numbers 6:24 – 26
You will always be in our hearts and prayers, Linda.
Sincerest Sympathy to your family and to all who knew you, Helen Maurer and Cindy Maurer
Linda was my home economics teacher at GCHS years ago and I absolutely loved her as a teacher and a person. Forty plus years later the lessons that she taught of mutual respect have served me well in all aspects of my life. Linda was beautiful inside and out and I will never forget her.
A very lovely lady. The picture you chose, Chris, is Linda at her best; smiling, friendly, beautiful.
Dear Chris and family,
What a beautiful tribute to Linda. I worked with her at Farnsworth for many years, and she was a wonderful, loving soul. The students respected her because she respected them. She was always willing to help me with the Home and Career schedule and did it with a positive spirit and a willingness to make the process work for everyone. Linda was a delightful person who lit up the room when she entered. Her passion for her work with children was unmatched. I hope she is finally at peace after this long and difficult struggle. I hope the same for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Don and Anne Snyder
A lovely soul – a gift to all of us. her warmth and personality bathed and enriched everyone who knew her. Blessings to her family.
Karen, Steve DiBella, Nicole DiBella-Milne
To Linda’s family and friends,
We are so sorry for your loss. While we did not know Linda, Chris was a teacher at Voorheesvile and Nicole had the privilege of having him as a teacher. Our thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time .
Robert E. Drake
It is with stunned sadness that I read about Linda’s struggle and passing. She was part of a large group of new teachers hired by Guilderland in 1969 at the high school. Because of her positive personality, she helped all of us become better teachers and members of the faculty. Linda was a special person that will be deeply missed.
My prayers and deepest sympathy go to her family and the
friends she left behind.
Robert E. Drake
Terry Barney Conway
I was a 1980 graduate of GCHS. Linda was our soccer coach, teacher and role model. She was an inspiration to anyone whose life she touched. I did not know she had this rare disease later in life. I am so sorry that she had to fight this battle. I know her pain is over now and if there is a heaven, she is surely there. She was a positive influence in the lives of all the young people she taught.
Wendy Coon Laribee
Linda was my teaching colleague at Guilderland. She was always smiling, sweet, interested and so approachable. She will be dearly missed.
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know I am praying for Linda, you and your friends and family.
Linda’s legacy of strength, kindness, and joy is impressive and inspiring. May God Bless her family and friends. She will be missed and remembered.
I worked with Linda at FMS. She was a wonderful teacher. Linda was a strong advocate and role model for her students and program. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues.
I am truly saddened by your loss and I am sure Linda is at peace and happily looking over those who knew and loved her.
Linda was continually sweet and gracious to me when we worked together at FMS. I always enjoyed our talks. Linda never walked by the office without stopping to just to say hello while rushing to her next class. On one of our conversations she told me about a relaxing weekend getaway that she thought my husband and would like. She even bought me a disposable camera and asked me to take pictures to share with her when we got back. Linda always did things like this. The kindest lady!
Linda was compassionate with her students and co-workers and very kind to those that she met in or out of school.
My condolences to your family – Linda will certainly be missed and I am very grateful to have known her. Rest In Peace our wonderful friend!