The Semiahmoo Peninsula lost one of its brightest stars Monday evening, with the sudden death of Peace Arch News publisher Linda Klitch.
Klitch – who for many was the driving force behind the White Rock South Surrey Community Foundation – suffered complications from surgery for a benign tumour on her pancreas last month.
Since becoming Peace Arch News publisher in 2000, Klitch’s involvement with the foundation, the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce, Peace Arch News Vintage Affair and the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation are only a small part of her support for members of our community.
Now, her work will live on, with the establishment of the Linda Klitch Legacy Fund, set up by the foundation Tuesday to continue Klitch’s efforts to improve the quality of life for residents.
Born and raised in Prince Albert, Sask., Linda Louise Mary Zurowski made a name for herself opening and operating fashion boutiques. She later moved to Kamloops, B.C., and began a career in advertising sales that would evolve into being named ad manager – and eventual publisher – of Kamloops This Week.
In her 11 years on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, Klitch, 60, amassed many supporters here. Most recently, she was awarded this year’s Paul Harris Fellowship by members of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club of White Rock in June.
Presenter Stewart Peddemors, in announcing Klitch’s award, spoke of their first encounter shortly after she was named publisher.
“I first met this red-haired fireball who had just rolled into town on a warm spring night,” Peddemors said. “No sooner had I met this person, taking over one of our great community institutions, the Peace Arch News, than I began to get cross-examined about the community and how to become involved.
“It did not take long to understand this striking new addition to our community was a champion, and that we had won the lottery.”
Minutes after learning of Klitch’s passing, White Rock Mayor Catherine Ferguson called PAN to offer condolences.
“What a loss. What an incredibly classy, warm lady. She’s going to be missed,” Ferguson said.
Klitch is survived by loving husband David; mother Bea; children Clark, Amber, Preston, Denver and Tyler, and their partners; siblings Louise, Lorraine and Cyril, and their families; and four grandchildren, Beckett, Noa, Anika and Meredith.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to the Linda Klitch Legacy Fund, care of the WRSSCF (email email@example.com or call Debbie Magson at 778-292-1367).
As well, one of Klitch’s last wishes was to encourage her many friends –- whom she cherished – to donate blood.
A Celebration of Life in honour of Klitch will be held Saturday, Oct. 1 at Hazelmere Golf Course (18150 8 Ave., Surrey), 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.