Linda Gerstman

Obituary of Linda Gerstman


M. Linda Gerstman

November 16, 1945 – May 12, 2022

Long time resident of Aptos, CA




Family and friends mourned the passing of Linda Gerstman, a wonderful wife, mother, friend, and devoted teacher. Linda passed away on May 12, 2022 at her Aptos home following a brave battle with cancer. 


Linda was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Pasadena and Altadena, California. She was a much-loved Kindergarten through 3rd grade Teacher at The American School in Mexico City, Mexico (1978 – 1980), Alianza School in Watsonville, CA (1982 – 1986, 1990 - 1992), Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park, Maryland (1986 – 1990), and Valencia School in Aptos, CA (1992 – 2009). After retiring, Linda continued to volunteer at Valencia school until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in California in 2020.


Linda will forever be remembered for her positive attitude in all she set out to accomplish and for her ability to connect with many different types of people. She delighted in teaching hundreds of children how to read, had a gift for guiding and developing young intellects, and delighted in watching children’s confidence and abilities grow. Students and their parents loved Linda and would come up to her and hug and kiss her when she ran into them in the community, even years after they had moved on from her class.


She and her beloved husband of 37 years, Bud, enjoyed national and international travel, comedy, reading, movies, high-quality television series, exercising, hanging out with family and friends, and confronting the day-to-day challenges of life as a team. She loved and was proud of her children Emily Gerstman, M.D., Deborah de la Luz, Luke Gerstman, and Jordan Gerstman. She also loved her son-in-law Dean Beyerinck, D.V.M., her sister Ellen Burnson, and brother-in-law Patrick Burnson.

If Linda had a defining characteristic, it was her talent for love. More than one person remarked, “you could just feel it coming off her.” Linda loved her family, her friends, her students, her former students, her students’ parents, her gym friends and, especially her husband Bud. A memorial in celebration of Linda’s life was held at the Cabrillo College Horticultural Center on June 4, 2022. A kind act of charity in her memory can be made by donating to either Scholars for Peace in the Middle East ( or Hospice of Santa Cruz County (

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Linda
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel