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.