Linda Heffner has been an integral member of our team for years! She started her journey with the RRC as a part-time employee in October 2006 and August 31, 2023 was her last day with us here at RRC.

potrait of an older woman in a blue shirt, behind her are green trees and grass
Linda Heffner. Photo by Annisa Karim

Over the past years she has filled many roles and was ultimately offered the job of administrative assistant in 2017. In talking with Linda about her time here, she expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to work with our amazing volunteers. “They are so knowledgeable about the Calusa and southwest Florida. You can tell they care about the place because of the time they spend wanting to get everything right. I’ve been able to get to know many of them and I will really miss their smiling faces. They’re all so wonderful in their own way.”

Some of Linda’s most treasured times have been spent working with and learning about the archaeology of southwest Florida from people she considers her mentors – Bill Marquardt, Karen Walker, and Cindy Bear. Similarly, Linda was enthusiastic and happy to work with the “next generation” (in her words) of RRC leadership – Director, Charlie Cobb, Assistant Director, Michelle LeFebvre, and me. “I love how Charlie, Michelle, and you are expanding the types of research we do here and involving so many researchers from Gainesville and south- west Florida! I think it’s great,” she explained.

Linda’s departure is bittersweet; she values the friendships she’s made here and in Gainesville and appreciates the support everyone has given her over the years. “When I moved to Florida, I couldn’t have imagined I’d have a job that I loved so much and that meant so much to me. I’ll definitely miss the RRC and Pine Island. I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and new adventures in retirement when I move to Georgia,” said Linda.

We’ll truly miss Linda and her positive energy here at the RRC and, of course, we wish her a happy and healthy retirement!

This article was taken from the Friends of the Randell Research Center Newsletter Vol 22, No. 1 & 2. November 2023.