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Linda R. Meek

July 7, 1950 January 6, 2020
Linda R. Meek
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Obituary for Linda R. Meek

Linda R. Meek of Birmingham, Michigan passed away peacefully on January 6, 2020.

She is greatly missed and lovingly remembered by beloved family and friends, including her husband of 46 years, David Meek, sister Ruth Witt (Andy), brothers John (Kim) Ervine and Tom (Rose) Ervine, brother-in-law Gary Meek, five nephews, Tom (Susan) Ervine, Dan Witt, Chris (Meredith), Eric and Jeff Ervine, and five great nieces and nephews, Grafton, Eleanor, Hugh, Ada and Vera. She was the daughter of Sam & Peggy Ervine and had a younger brother Sammy, all previously passed.

Memorial donations to honor Linda’s life and memory are being accepted by Kendall College of Art and Design (Attn: Jill Schneider, 17 Fountain St. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or online via kcad.edu/giving. Please note Linda Ervine Meek Memorial Scholarship Fund in comment box or on check memo line.

Combined with a busy career, Linda was very involved with her family. She was a devoted sister, aunt and great aunt. She gave the best presents--always surprised everyone with thoughtful and stylish gifts gathered during her world travels, both for work and for pleasure. In her life and career she was an inspiration to all her nephews and nieces, and throughout their lives has been infinitely supportive of their interests and pursuits.

Did you know Linda could play the bassoon? Her other interests included art fairs & jewelry making. She loved boating (she could serve a cocktail in 6 ft. waves without a drip), downhill skiing, fast cars (she spent several years driving quarter midget cars in "powderpuff" races) and she even experienced a loop-the-loop in a small plane while scouting sites.

Linda’s smile could tell you everything you need to know about how she approached life and her advertising career. It’s no surprise that Linda was good at everything the ad world threw at her. Energetic, confident, magnetic and fun. Spunky. And always, always kind. Linda was a source of light in Detroit’s advertising community and revered as a true talent from her first days in the business, bringing scenes to life with hand-painted illustrations.

Her life began on July 7, 1950 in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she graduated from East Grand Rapids High School. She was naturally creative and artistic. She liked to tell the story about failing all but her art classes at Western Michigan University, when her Dad swooped in and enrolled her into Kendall School of Art & Design so she could learn to “earn a living as an artist.” From that moment forward, Linda succeeded – and happily so – in every role she took on.

If the 70s ad scene was intimidating, you would have never known it from Linda. Because she owned it. Her vibrancy, determination – and of course that smile – established her as one-of-a-kind from the start. Even in her early years at the Detroit design studio, Art Staff, colleagues recall what an influence she’d been. “She taught me so much. And always supported everyone around her.”

Taking her unique set of talents to DMB&B, Linda became an art director in the mid 80s and spent the next 15 years making the world of automotive advertising a better place. It wasn’t long before she was earning accolades and awards as a Creative Director on the Cadillac account. Exact dates and trophy counts are unclear but feel insignificant compared to the reactions of Linda’s peers: “I LOVED working with Linda.” “She was SOOO talented.” “Linda was a natural.” “She made it look easy.” “She was a wealth of knowledge and experience.” “Her work was a true testament to the strength of her creative mind.” “Linda was the best.” “She knew what she wanted and had fun doing it.”

It wasn’t just her creative spirit that stood out. Linda was down-right hilarious. And had a remarkable gift for leading. Her wit cut straight to the point, made her peers laugh out loud and set plans into action all at once. That’s what Linda did: help everyone around her succeed and make them feel good while doing it. In 1999, she took her unique blend of badass and beautiful to Detroit’s J. Walter Thompson, which would become home to some of the most profound work of her career.

The following two decades saw Linda win numerous awards for her work on vehicle launches, play a key role in the startup of the agency’s new design studio and become an inspiration to so many as Senior Vice President, Creative Director. “I learned so much from working with Linda.” “Linda believed in me. And taught me more than anyone.”

In 2005, Linda spear-headed the launch of Warriors in Pink, Ford’s cause marketing program dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. Ford clients, coworkers and most importantly, the cancer patients and survivors she touched, fell instantly in love with her visual expression of the brand. Linda created the perfect balance of fierce power and femininity around a sensitive subject that both captured your attention and put you at ease.

Always giving others an opportunity to shine, Linda mentored a young designer through the creation of a Warrior Symbols collection at the time, which went on to become a staple of the brand – and so coveted that fans turned these symbols into tattoos.

Over the following decade, Linda’s generous spirit came to life in her passion for Warriors in Pink. Traveling the country, meeting hundreds of men and women affected by the disease, Linda treated each and every one like a celebrity. Even after long hours on photos shoots, she made sure survivors felt like models in front of the camera while styling them in Warriors in Pink clothing that she also helped to ideate and design. “Linda impacted so many with her work.”

Coming to the rescue was another of Linda’s specialties. Her way of remaining calm, yet springing into action gave many agency stories a happy ending. Most recently, when the Warriors in Pink team lost access to files needed to create large screen-prints for a TV shoot just days away, Linda gathered all the designers and asked them to paint canvases. They still recall how she saved the day with her “painting studio.”

Despite her enormous talents and successes, Linda never took herself too seriously. Her career leaves an indelible mark on the ad community, not just for her titles or accomplishments, but also her genuine passion for everything and everyone she touched. And more than anything, Linda is remembered and loved for her bright smile, caring nature and brilliant way of making all that she encountered beautiful. “She was one of the kindest, most giving people I’ve ever met.”

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadwise, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming wow--WHAT A RIDE!”

A Celebration of Linda’s Life will be held Thursday, February 6th, 4-6pm at Ford’s Garage, 21367 Michigan Avenue, in Dearborn.

Please consider making a donation to the scholarship fund at Kendall College of Art & Design in memory of Linda to continue her mentorship and create a legacy in her honor.


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