Yesterday the sun sparkled in Marin County when over 300 of us said goodbye to Linda Pei at Tiburon Presbyterian. I met both Linda and her future husband Jim in graduate school over 30 years ago. Her beauty attracted all the male students, but it was her kindness and inner strength that made everyone want to be her friend.
Linda’s family fled China after the war. Despite much hardship she obtained an Ivy League education and an MBA degree from a top-ten school. She founded one of the first “theme” investment funds, the Women’s Equity Fund, in 1993. Being financially successful was important, but for Linda that was secondary to having a purpose that would make the world a better place.
Linda wasn’t a Janie-come-lately to athletics, having been an avid tennis player and cyclist for as long as I’ve known her. She was in much better shape than most of the crowd that came to remember her yesterday, and that’s what made her diagnosis and death from cancer last year so unexpected and hard to accept.
Both Jim and Linda had peripatetic exciting careers and raised two considerate, intelligent children. I’ll miss her and regret not speaking to her more often when I had the chance. Those who knew her intimately said that at the end she was more concerned about them than herself and that she had no regrets about how it all turned out. “A life well-lived” indeed. © 2008 Stephen Yuen