Linda Jill Skarpelos (née Koop) passed away earlier this month after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 55.
Originally from the Philadelphia suburb of Willow Grove, Linda came to San Jose with her family in 1974 when her father (the late Walter Scott Koop) transferred to Ford Aerospace in Palo Alto.
A true daughter of the Santa Clara valley, Linda picked apricots over several summers as a teenager and worked in software development as a young woman. After graduating from Lynbrook High in 1981, Linda studied at De Anza College transferring to Cal State Chico where she earned a degree in computer science with a minor in music in 1986. Linda entered the tech field working as a software developer for Tandem Computers in Cupertino on their Pathway Application Manager product. She met her future husband, Michael Skarpelos, at Tandem in a class on the internals of Tandem's proprietary Guardian operating system.
After leaving Tandem in the early 1990s to start her family, Linda confronted the tragedy of having two autistic children, but rather than curse the darkness, she lit a candle and dedicated the rest of her life to caring for her children. She used her creative talents to develop learning activities customized to her children's needs and abilities and generally provided a loving, happy home for them.
A talented musician, Linda played the flute, piano, banjo, and harp. She enjoyed playing the harp at various local venues. Linda also wrote self-published children's books that never found a wide audience but were big favorites among her family and friends. She also served the local community as an Adopt-A-Park volunteer for John Mise Park.
Linda's faith, integrity, and courage inspired all who knew her. May her memory be eternal.
She is survived by her husband Michael Skarpelos, her daughter Sophia Skarpelos, her son Walter Skarpelos, and her brothers Michael Koop and Kenneth Koop, all of San Jose. She was predeceased by her parents Walter and Ruth Koop.
There will be a visitation (6pm) and Trisagion service (7:30pm) on Thursday, November 29 at Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills, 615 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos and a funeral (10am) on Friday, November 30 at St. Basil The Great Greek Orthodox Church, 6430 Bose Lane, San Jose. Burial to follow the funeral at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, San Jose. A luncheon back at St. Basil will take place following the burial.