Linda Moseley

Linda Moseley

the way we where Moseley_01Reminiscing with Linda Moseley, 87, requires planning because this cheerful petite grandmother maintains a full schedule with her Book Club, Garden Club, friends and travels with her family. Recently back from a train trip across Canada, Moseley said it was an opportunity to be with her children and was not to be missed.

Moseley and her late husband Thaddeus Moseley, M.D. met on a blind date at Vanderbilt University and were married in 1948. They settled in Jacksonville in 1950 because Dr. Moseley had met Jacksonville surgeon Dr. Ash Williams, when both served in a WWII Army MASH Unit field hospital. Williams urged Moseley to move to Jacksonville and start his surgical practice at Riverside Hospital. The two men became lifelong friends.

The Moseleys drove to Jacksonville with their first baby and two suitcases in a four-door coupe and lived briefly in a sweltering Riverside duplex. They bought a Donald Street cottage that resembled something straight out of a fairy tale, she said. In 1953 they moved to their brick family home on Edgewood Avenue. The couple shared 54 happy years of marriage until Thad’s death in 2002.

the way we where Moseley_02While Dr. Moseley built his career, Linda, with a college degree in history, English and art minors, also went to work but in the volunteer arena.

“I’d push the baby stroller around Avondale collecting for the March of Dimes and United Fund (United Way). I met other mothers and helped charities at the same time,” she said. “Thad was a born teacher and when he began to volunteer to teach medical students at Duval County Hospital on Jefferson Street [now UF Health Center], I began to volunteer there too. He was proud of helping to bring the University of Florida Medical School and surgical service here.”

Moseley said at that time there were no services for families at the county hospital, not even a cafeteria.

“I manned a small shop and pushed a cart around with simple toiletries, snacks, sandwiches and cold drinks for patients and families, who were so thankful,” she said. “I’m most proud of our fundraising to help build a wing onto the mental hospital, including an occupational room for patients. Before that there was nothing to do and nowhere to go except their rooms. We volunteers stuck our noses everywhere in Jacksonville to raise that money.”

For Linda and the children, Thaddeus, William and Stacy, Willowbranch Park and library were home territory. The children attended music lessons taught by the pastor’s wife at Riverside Christian Church and Mrs. Sisk’s private kindergarten for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. William attended kindergarten at Riverside Presbyterian Church, the family church.

“The boys were set on riding a bus to school, although we were only a few blocks from West Riverside Elementary. We let them walk up Edgewood to St. Johns Avenue and catch the city bus to school. They were both patrol guards and I’m not sure which made them happier, riding the bus to school or wearing the patrol guard strap and badge,” she said.

During the 1950s and 1960s Moseley credits the Junior League with teaching her and many other women leadership and management skills as valuable as a Master’s degree or MBA. She volunteered to test children’s hearing for the Speech & Hearing Clinic in an old school building downtown and served as Placement Chairman matching members with volunteer positions. She chaired the Professional Women’s Group which included many teachers who could only volunteer at night, on weekends or during the summers. She served as Junior League President 1961-62 and on the International Board.

“We learned parliamentary procedure, how to run meetings and committees, how to balance a budget and start a small business, all types of projects, topics and skills were taught and it was invaluable training for women at that time,” she said.

Moseley believed in social integration, quietly took a stand at every opportunity to include all races and says it wasn’t easy. She volunteered and held board positions at the Salvation Army Mission rehabilitation center that was located on Park Street, United Way Allocations & Budget Committee and the Jacksonville Symphony Guild. Moseley wanted every child in Jacksonville to attend symphony concerts.

“The youth concerts were my favorites. I took tickets to the inner city schools and helped principals work out bus transportation,” she said. “Dorothy Tunstall, executive secretary of the Symphony then, helped me every step of the way.”

Moseley helped her friends Dan and Blanche Coffman of Timuquana and Jim and Mary Cousar of Ortega Forest start the literacy program Learn to Read and was a longtime volunteer.

“They saw the program’s success in Atlanta and knew we needed it here. The first two workshops were planned at First Presbyterian Church, one daytime and one evening with an Atlanta trainer. The response was so overwhelming, it required three trainers and six workshops! I’m happy that it’s still a success,” she said.

Christmases brought all the grandparents to Florida for homemade meals (the only nearby restaurants were Green Derby and yacht club), caroling, seeing debutantes at the Florida Yacht Club and church activities. A favorite drive was out to the ‘country” in Mandarin to ride a miniature train that seated several adults and children.

By Julie Kerns Garmendia
Resident Community News

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