In Memory

Linda Cohn (Walter)

Linda Cohn (Walter)

Linda Cohn Walter

February 17, 1947 - April 3, 2020

Linda Cohn Walter died at home on April 3, after a long battle with dementia. Her husband was at her side, and although neither her twin sister nor any of her children live in Houston, all four got to say goodbye during the last few minutes of her life. A private graveside service was held at Emanu El Memorial Park with Rabbis Oren Hayon, Pam Silk and Cantor Rollin Simmons officiating. A video of the graveside service will be posted on the Congregation's website: soon.

Contributions are welcome at the Linda and Rabbi Roy Walter Legacy Fund of Congregation Emanu El, or charity of choice.


Linda was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Houston in 1971; she married her husband Rabbi Roy Walter a year later. Although as the wife of a pulpit rabbi she was always in the public eye, Linda never sought it or basked in it, and she never let it define her. She remained her own person and inspired so many others through her tireless work as a volunteer throughout the Houston community. Her youngest son, when asked what his mother did for a living, answered, “She’s a professional volunteer.” She volunteered at Lighthouse for the Blind and served on several committees of the United Way, on the Boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and Congregation Emanu El Sisterhood, which honored her for her years of devotion and service. She was Vice President of Jewish Family Service, from which she received the prestigious Joan Alexander Chesed (Loving Kindness) Award and President of the Jewish Community Center, from which she received the coveted David H. White Award for a life lived by the highest ideals of Jewish life.

Linda was a natural cook who knew instinctively how to riff on a recipe and make it something special.  She taught cooking classes as a volunteer, mostly teaching young women how to cook Jewish dishes like gefilte fish and mandel bread so such classic foods would survive.

Above all, however, family was truly at the heart of Linda’s priorities. When her mother became ill, Linda and Roy brought her to Houston to live with them until her death 5 years later. Linda cherished and excelled at her role as wife and mother. She shlepped her children from activity to activity without complaint, and still saw to it that a home-cooked dinner was on the table every night. She taught her children by example to be a good friend, to be honorable, kind, and honest, and to make a positive difference in the world.  Though her grandchildren didn’t live in Houston, she cherished every moment on the phone and in person with them.  They were the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake.

There are not words to express the family’s appreciation to the friends who visited and took Linda to lunch and shopping during the early stages of her illness.  The family is grateful as well to caregiver Bertha Funes and to the caregivers from Advocates for the Independent who took such wonderful care of Linda during her long and difficult illness.

Linda is survived by her husband of 47 years Rabbi Roy Walter; children Benjamin and Kelly Walter, Michel Walter and Jason Hyde, Aaron Walter and Mikey Kinsely; grandchildren Ethan and Hannah Walter; and twin sister Marlene Goldblatt and husband Herb.

The family is deeply saddened by Linda’s death, and is especially sorrowful that it occurred at a time when the hundreds of people who would have come to honor her are not able to do so. Their calls, emails, and texts from around the country have been received as warm hugs.

The world is a richer place for Linda’s having lived and a poorer place she is no longer here.  She will be missed by many.

A private graveside service was held at Emanu El Memorial Park with Rabbis Oren Hayon, Pam Silk and Cantor Rollin Simmons officiating. A video of the graveside service will be posted on the Congregation’s website: soon.

Contributions are welcome at the Linda and Rabbi Roy Walter Legacy Fund of Congregation Emanu El, or charity of choice.

May Linda's memory always be a blessing.  

Linda Cohn Walter, a Cincinnati native, has been a leader in the Houston Jewish and greater communities in her own right. A member of Congregation Emanu El, she has held a variety of important leadership positions with the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Jewish Family Service and Congregation Emanu El Sisterhood.

Her service to the JCC included chairing its early childhood, Jewish education, adult, senior adult, community services and renovation committees, and she served as president of the JCC from 1990 to 1992. In recognition of her outstanding service, she received the David H. White Award from the JCC in 2002.

Life member of both Hadassah and National Council of Jewish Women, she is a member of the board and of the executive committee of Jewish Family Service, past chair of the program services committee and of the JFS special gifts and endowment board. In 2002, she was honored by the Emanu El Sisterhood for more than 30 years of service to the temple and to the school.

She has served the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast in the areas of youth services, children’s mental health and social services and has been a member of the advisory board of HSPVA Friends.

She was a founding board member and vice president of Southwest Houston 2000 and had a past leadership role in the Serve Houston Youth Corps.

Walter earned her B.A. in English literature from the Ohio State University in 1969. She and Rabbi Roy Walter have three children: Benjamin, Michel and Aaron, and two grandchildren, Ethan, 2-1/2 and Hannah, 6 months.

go to bottom 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page

04/08/20 11:27 AM #3    

Edward Shapiro

I am stunned.  Linda was such a good friend, so smart, personable.  We shared many great times together with Linda and her sister Marlene, who sat on either side of me in Mr. Connelly's chemistry class.  I am not sure if I would have passed were it nor for the Cohen twins.  May sincerest condolences go to Linda's entire family.  May her memory be for a blessing to all who knew her.

04/08/20 11:29 AM #4    

Peggy Rich (Friedman)

I am so very sorry to hear of Linda's passing away.  May her memory be a blessing to her family, and to all that knew her.


04/08/20 11:50 AM #5    

Ronald A. Crutcher

I am saddened to learn of Linda's passing.  While we were not directly in contact after high school, I kept up with her and Marlene vicariously through Clara Lee Miller.  My sincere condolences to Linda's husband and family.  

04/08/20 01:22 PM #6    

Ann Greenberg (Bliss)

I am so sorry to hear of Linda's illness and passing. I did not know Linda well, but I do remember her smile and what seemed to be abundant energy.    I send well wishes to her family and friends near her far who knew her as a kind, generous, giving woman.  

04/08/20 01:58 PM #7    

Emily Lang (Ness)

I was very saddened to learn of Linda's passing.  With my thoughts and prayers to Linda's family and friends.

04/08/20 02:41 PM #8    

Hope Hartman

I'm so sorry to hear about Linda's passing. She and Marlene were part of our most special street, as Dale commented, with many wonderful people around our own age who had so much fun together. My deepest sympathy to Linda's family.

04/08/20 04:18 PM #9    

Carol Smith (Holtz)

I am so very sorry to hear about Linda's death.  I have wonderful memories of Linda when we went to Avondale Elementary School, Bond Hill School, and Woodward High School.  She was always a sweet and loving person and so very intelligent as well.  May her memory be a blessing!  Carol Smith Holtz

04/08/20 05:59 PM #10    

Barbara Lang (Matacia)

I was so sorry to hear about Linda's passing.   I want to extend my deepest sympathy to her family and friends.

04/12/20 09:50 PM #11    

Phyllis Dobrin (Leibson)

I cannot find words to express my sadness to learn of Linda's passing. My sincerest condolences go out to Marlene and the rest of her family. She was an extraordinary person whose legacy will live on. 

09/19/22 02:12 PM #12    

Jeff Robinson

Linda's VOICE is seared in my soul. When she spoke it sounded like the 11th. Commandment. Don't ever get in her way. She found a soul mate in "Her Rabbi". I am quite sure everyone she touched remembers her strong will.

go to top 
  Post Comment
    Prior Page