Linda Kay Lilly Buffalo, 59, of Lonoke died Dec. 8, 2020, after a short bout with cancer.
Linda was born Oct. 16, 1961, to Joe Henry and Leara Deanne Lilly in Little Rock, Arkansas. Linda was the youngest of four children.
She graduated from Lonoke High School in 1979 and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1983. She returned to Lonoke as a teacher, working there for the next 37 years, including 27 as a seventh-grade English teacher at Lonoke Junior High/Middle School and 10 years as a special education teacher after earning her master’s degree in special education from UALR.
Linda was involved in many things during her teaching career. She was a longtime cheer sponsor for both the junior high and high school Jackrabbits cheerleaders. Linda also worked the gates at both Lonoke football and basketball games and would always find a way to go to away games with some of her best friends.
In December 1999, Linda married her husband Mark, whom she met at a track meet in 1997. She and Mark would attend Lonoke, Carlisle and Cabot games while Mark was covering them for the local newspapers.
Linda and Mark’s greatest joy came in 2009 when they finally became parents to An Qing Shu, a 2-year-old Chinese girl. That child is now Mary Elisabeth.
Linda was preceded in death by her parents and sisters-in-law Gabrielle Lilly and Elizabeth Lilly. She is survived by her husband Mark and daughter Emmy of Lonoke; brother Joe Lilly and wife Deborah of New Tazewell, Tenn.; brother Steven Lilly of Lonoke; sister Leara Beth Carmical and husband Donny of Cabot; nieces Deanna Lovelady, Kortney Strange, Kaycee Ford, Heather and Kaitlyn Buffalo; and nephews Jay and Orion Lilly and Devon Buffalo.
The family would like to thank the staff at UAMS and Arkansas Hospice for their care during Linda’s illness.
Memorials may be made to the Lonoke Scholarship Foundation.
A private service will be held Friday, Dec. 11, at Boyd Funeral Home at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Old Carlisle Cemetery, everyone is invited to attend the graveside service.