Her greeting was unmistakably her own.
When someone walked into the Services for Students with Disabilities department at Brock, Linda Landry always welcomed them with “Hey Buddy.”
Without a doubt, it was her signature but she also became known for what came next.
Landry, the department’s academic accommodation assistant, always followed up with a sincere how are you, what’s new or what’s happening.
“It wasn’t just small talk. She was truly interested in people so the students loved her,” said Judith Brooder, the department’s manager. “She had a knack for connecting with people.”
Landry, who spent the past 15 years working in various roles at Brock, died Jan. 2. She was 55.
She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, exuberance and an easy laugh.
“She had this laugh – everyone talks about her laugh,” Brooder said. “She has a personality that you definitely miss. She was bubbly and has a presence that you miss when she’s not here.”
For much of Landry’s time at Brock, she worked as an administrative assistant in the Department of Sociology before moving to Services for Students with Disabilities last summer. There, she helped co-ordinate test accommodations and note taking for students.
Prof. John Sorenson, former Sociology chair, said Landry was the first person people would see when they visited the academic department.
In addition to being a friendly, welcoming face, Sorenson recalled her ability to put people at ease, particularly students who may have been feeling overwhelmed by the demands of university life.
“Linda was very helpful and encouraging to them and provided a lot of emotional support to them,” he said. “Her job involved a lot of emotional labour to keep people happy and deal with the different personalities that came through the office. She had to be flexible and wear many hats.”
Sorenson also remembers Landry’s ability to help her colleagues “root through various administrative mysteries” to keep business in the department running smoothly.
Her willingness to help didn’t go unappreciated, either.
As Brooder packed up some of Landry’s belongings at her desk this week, she found a stack of thank you cards and notes from students.
“She really connected with students,” Brooder said. “She put people at ease.”
Outside of work, Landry played volleyball, enjoyed travelling and doted on her nieces and nephews.
She also collected slippers – whimsical pairs, including bunny slippers or ones adorned with Santa hats, attesting to her outgoing personality and positive attitude.
“Many people are going to miss Linda very much,” Sorenson said. “She was a bright light in our department, an exuberant presence there.”