Long-time Fermilab employee Linda Christiansen died on Nov. 20 after a battle with cancer.
“Linda joined the laboratory in 1989, and we worked together for more than 20 years,” Boyrs Jurkiw, human resources services manager, said. “No job was too small or too challenging for her. She was dedicated to making things work and making them work right, the first time.”
Christiansen was the lead human resources system and records analyst. She maintained an extensive database of all Fermilab employees, among other duties.
“Linda knew all of the employees,” Christine Johnson, an administrative associate, said. “She was very dedicated to her job and conscientious.”
Laurie Pederson, a human recourse information system associate, remembers her first days at the laboratory, with Christiansen as her supervisor.
“Linda was the best boss. She was patient, understanding and incredibly knowledgeable,” Pederson said. “She was unforgettable.”
Christiansen’s work was not only thorough, but also quickly completed.
“If you needed a report in a week, she would get it to you the next day,” Barb Brooks, the deputy head of human resources, said. “I’ll miss her ‘can-do’ attitude and her willingness to help with our Section get-togethers.”
Christiansen was well-respected for her professional skills, but she was also admired for her abilities in the kitchen.
“I called Linda ‘MacGyver in the kitchen’ because she could turn butter, flour and pepper into a quiche like magic,” Jacqueline Zolna, a compensation analyst in WDRS, said. Zolna called Christiansen one of her favorite people from the first time she met her. “She cracked me up daily, with her wit and humor.”
Johnson remembered Christiansen’s cooking, as well.
“She amazed us,” Johnson said. “Linda would whip up these wonderful dishes for the office. You could always count on her; she understood the work and the people. And she was always willing to help out.”
Jane Sylvester, a compensation associate, also fond of Christiansen’s cooking, reflected on Christiansen’s kindness in all facets of her life.
“Linda always went the extra mile for her work, her coworkers and her family,” Sylvester said. “We miss her.”
Outside of her work at Fermilab and cooking, Christiansen enjoyed attending live theatre and travelling.
“Linda loved Italy in particular,” Johnson said. “She had as much fun planning a trip as she did going on one.”
Jurkiw echoed the sentiment of his colleagues remembering Christiansen.
“She’s sorely missed,” Jurkiw said. “We miss both her skills and personality.”