The Reverend Linda Axelson Packard

The Reverend Linda Axelson Packard of Galena, IL, died on November 10, 2023.  A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Grace Episcopal Church, 107 S. Prospect Street, Galena, IL.  The Rev. Dr. Paula Harris and The Right Rev. Bonnie Perry will officiate.  For those unable to attend in person, this live stream link will be made available for your viewing;

Linda was born on March 7, 1942, in Chicago, IL to William A. and Elin K. (Andersson) Axelson, undocumented Swedish immigrants.  Linda attended Lawrence College and earned her Masters in Divinity from Seabury-Western Seminary.  She served as the rector at Church of our Saviour, Chicago, IL, for more than 10 years, and as interim rector at Grace Episcopal Church, Galena, IL, Grace Episcopal Church, Oak Park, IL, supply priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Dubuque, IA, and St. Andrew’s Pentecost Episcopal Church, Evanston, IL.  She also volunteered on mission trips to Liberia, Myanmar, Haiti, and Southeast Mexico.  She served as a mentor to many clergy women in the Episcopal Church.


Linda and Tony Packard initially met in their freshman biology class at Evanston Township High School.  They reconnected at the 20th reunion of their high school class in 1980 and married three months later at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Linden Hills, Minneapolis.  After raising their family in Evanston, IL, and upon retirement, they moved to the Galena Territory.  There Linda enjoyed spending time tending her gardens, training and showing her Bernese Mountain dogs, and baking Swedish cookies and breads.  She was a loyal member of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southeast Wisconsin, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA, and the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation.  


She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Charles Anthony “Tony” Packard, her three children, Ingrid (Dean) Kash, Kate Packard, and Tom Packard, and three grandchildren, Justin, Matthew, and Emerson, along with several nieces and nephews and many cousins in Sweden.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, William G. Axelson.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Linda’s name to the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, or the Lawrence University Fund. Linda’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Prairie Ridge and Hospice of Dubuque for their professional and compassionate care. The Tri-State Cremation Center has provided guidance and services to Linda’s family.  Online condolences may be shared with Linda’s family at

Memorial Service

Grace Episcopal Church
107 South Prospect Street, Galena, Illinois, 61036
December 2nd, 2023 at 11:00 AM

6 comments on “The Reverend Linda Axelson Packard
  1. elena Pappas says:

    Dear Tony
    So sad to hear about
    Linda. We had so many
    good times in high school. She will be
    Missed by me and so many other classmates.

  2. Augustine Savage says:

    My greatest memory of Ms.Linda,was one day she wasn’t feeling well and I showed her my “Linda” tattoo on my left arm, which is my mother’s name,and she looked at it and smiled and said it made her feel better, I will miss seeing you in the dining room at Prairie Ridge

  3. Christina I Collins says:

    As sad as this news is, I keep reflecting on our many blessings. I feel blessed and grateful for having been given the opportunity to be of service. Linda was a delight. I always enjoyed her company. I admired her professional accomplishments, her passion for gardening, and her deep love for Tony. Many thanks to the doctors who cared for Linda so diligently.

  4. Charles Cameron Stewart says:

    I’ve delayed writing in hopes of being at the service tomorrow morning, but that will not work out. You and Linda, you know, were the reason we moved to where we did when we came to Chicago (actually, it was our priest in Urbana who said there’s only one church for you in Chicago, but when we learned COS was “Linda’s church” his advice took on the air of Divine inspiration. And, of course, it was Linda who presided over my becoming an Episcopalian. So, family gatherings going back too many years aside, my indebtedness to you two, and Linda’s direction of my spiritual fate has made her passing all the more poignant for me. Sena and I will join the service virtually, tomorrow morning, and we will hope to see you soon to celebrate Linda’s wonderful gifts to us all.

  5. Tony Dobrowolski says:

    Linda was a gifted priest and an extraordinarily kind and generous person. I feel blessed that our paths crossed over many years. My sincere condolences to all of the family and to all who loved her.

  6. Steve and Kelly Varenyi says:

    Our deepest sympathies on your loss. Hoping this holiday season can bring your family a little peace and happiness.

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