Lufkin community leader dies, legacy remembered

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One of Lufkin's own community leaders died this weekend. Linda Pendland was the Executive Director for the HOPE Center for more than a decade. She touched the lives of many in Lufkin over the years.

Monday's were a special day for Pendland. She would give away food and provide to families at the HOPE Center. On Monday, April 8 her closest friends paid tribute to these kind of heart felt services she provided.

"It's been wonderful knowing her. I'll never forget her and all that she's done," Rev. Bettie Kennedy said.

Bettie Kennedy had the chance to watch Linda Pendland grow up and as she would say blossom into a great community leader.

"That heart has lingered to this day and we'll always remember the beauty of her. Her life has been like a flower; from the bud it opens and blooms and blossoms. She served this community well," Kennedy said.

Penland worked diligently each day providing for those in need. There was one particular group in Lufkin she had the biggest passion for.

"Once she started serving she served the children mostly. She provided food for the children after school. She provided education for the children after school. Everything she did was for the children that come to the HOPE Center after school, and during school, and any other time that she could do something for them," Victor Travis said.

The 63-year-old touched many hearts and made a difference in her hometown. She worked very hard to make sure the youth had a better life.

"She had a heart for children in reading and giving them things that will help them to do better. She's inspired so many to go to school and go to college to better their lives; and she's provided that at the HOPE Center. She had classes and had given out food on Monday's," Kennedy said.

Victor Travis also had the pleasure of knowing Pendland as he grew up with the woman who dedicated her whole life to service.

"It really hurts. We're going to miss her very much because she definitely a pillar in the community. She was a fantastic person and anyone that knew her loved her," Travis said.

"She'll never be forgotten because she touched so many lives and especially the children. She had a heart for children in reading and giving them things that will help them to do better," Kennedy said.

Pendland leaves behind three children.

Friends say a wake will be held Friday evening on April 12 at the Hope Center from six to eight.

A funeral will follow on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Lufkin Civic Center.

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