Linda A. Witchell. Photo courtesy of the family.

Linda Ann Witchell, a resident of Washington, Beaufort County, for more than 30 years, died unexpectedly on Aug. 30.

Born Nov. 23, 1957, in Stuttgart, Germany, to the late Barbara (Burstein) Katz and Barry Witchell, who was stationed there with the U.S. Army. The young family soon returned to New York City where Linda grew up. Early ballet classes led to 12 years of training in classical, modern and jazz and a passion for all things dance. In addition to performing throughout her teens and 20s, she taught classes and picked up Israeli Folk Dancing.

She graduated from Hunter College High School in 1974 with a New York State Regents Scholarship and attended City College of New York as a dance major before heading west to study at the California Institute of the Arts. She later returned to New York, graduating from New York University with a business degree.

Summer jobs in Norfolk at the Virginia Stage Company and Tidewater Ballet ultimately resulted in her move to North Carolina in 1985 to be marketing director for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in High Point.

She later moved to Washington and became a proponent of all her new city had to offer, working as a consultant and volunteering with seniors.

Her favorite spot, though, was the beach in Ocracoke where she loved to visit with friends, go fishing and enjoy the simple things. Linda was an amazing cook, a super thoughtful friend and a genuinely kind person.  She cared deeply about her friends and family and was quick to offer compassion to others.

Linda is survived by her siblings, Matthew Witchell and Abigail Witchell-Jorcino (Raul), and several nieces and nephews.

The family expects to hold a memorial to celebrate her life next summer on Ocracoke. To be kept up to date, send an email to

Contributions in her memory may be made online here or or sent as checks payable to ECU Foundation Inc. to the Office of Gift Records, East Carolina University, 2200 S. Charles Blvd., Suite 2213, Greenville, NC 27858.  Please add “Environmental Health Department” and “in Memory of” on the memo line/gift instructions.

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is serving the Witchell family.

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