Friday, May 29, 2020
10:00 AM EDT
Saint Priscilla Catholic Church
19120 Purlingbrook Street
Livonia, MI 48152
If you plan to attend the funeral mass, please be mindful of the times; wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Life Story / Obituary
Born in a time of plenty and raised during a time of tremendous challenge and change, Luella May Link was a heart-centered woman who lived a life rich in family and friends. With unwavering faith in the goodness of others and an undauntable work ethic, Luella worked hard to ensure the well being of her family, friends, and community. Luella embodied the Golden Rule: she treated others as she wished to be treated. She encouraged faith, goodness, perseverance, tradition, and strong family ties. While she met life’s challenges with confidence, she also embraced good fortune with much appreciation. Luella enjoyed a good time and inspired many fond memories for those she loved. An inspiration to all who were blessed to know her, Luella will long be remembered and ever so missed.
The 1920s were marked by tremendous confidence, prosperity, and previously unknown comforts. The economy boomed, wages rose for most Americans, and prices fell, resulting in a higher standard of living for most. With the inventions of the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, self-winding watch, bulldozer, the instant camera, drive-in restaurants, Band-Aids, and the convertible, the post-war era marked significant advancement and morale flourished throughout the land. This vibrant time grew even more brilliant on August 21, 1926, in Highland Park, Michigan, as Stephen David Brown and Luella Amelia Cregeur welcomed their daughter Luella into their family.
Luella grew up in Highland Park, where her father was the Police Chief, and her mother ran the home and raised the children. Luella, along with older siblings, Robert, Donald, Virginia, Steven, and her younger brothers, Raymond and Thomas, enjoyed an active childhood. From her earliest years, Luella learned the values of hard work and service from both of her parents. As she and her siblings grew older, her mother worked doing laundry, ironing, and cooking for Catholic priests in a nearby rectory.
During their youth, Luella and her siblings went to the movie theater a lot. A perk of being the police chief was getting into the movies for free! She also loved going fishing with her father. Sometimes they would fish in Lake St.Clair, but most of their fishing was in Lake Huron at Port Austin. There the family built a simple shack on their property, and while it had no running water or electricity, for a few weeks each summer, it provided ample shelter during long days of leisure. The kids fished, swam, and played in a nearby creek, where they would jump from rock to rock. Occasionally, when they returned to the shack, they had to remove bloodsuckers that found their way onto their legs. Many days were filled with picking whatever fruit and vegetables were in season at local farms. Somehow they even managed to can some of their bounty and brought it home.
During her teens, Luella and her older sister managed to get fake ID’s which they used to get into speakeasies to socialize. A fun-loving young woman, Luella enjoyed roller skating during the summer and ice skating in winter. She proudly graduated from St. Benedict High School on June 10, 1945. She found work as a clerk at Lachrome Benedict Shipping Company and also took the bus to Sears Roebuck and Company, where she worked a part-time job as a clerk/cashier.
Friday nights were all about dancing at the Grande Ballroom on Woodward Avenue with her beloved, Henry Link. Henry would pick her up after work, and they would dance the night away. Henry proposed to Luella on Christmas Eve, 1947; he gave her an orchid with an engagement ring. The happy couple married on August 28, 1948, officially beginning their 66-year adventure together. For a honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to visit Luella’s brothers in Pennsylvania, who were building and operating a bowling alley and bar.
In the early years of her marriage, Luella was busy raising ten children. She became an accomplished cook and baker, making most foods from scratch. Despite the workload, she still found time to participate with Henry, in a bowling league and a rotating home pinochle club with friends. The heart of the home, Luella found ways to balance work and play with many treasured traditions. Along with Henry’s parents and sister, Henry and Luella purchased a cottage just south of Lexington, Michigan, in the summer of 1968. From that time, in addition to occasional week-long vacations, the family has gathered together at least three times a year on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. During these holidays, the extended family and many friends head to “the cottage,” where they fill the back yard and neighboring yards with tents. Just as during her childhood, Luella and her family enjoyed swimming, fishing, and picking whatever crop was ready for harvest, including apples, blueberries, peaches, and cherries. Whether home or away, the family always attended church on Sundays.
As the children grew and began moving away from home, a new tradition started. Every Friday night, some or all the children would visit Luella and Henry to get together, drink a few beers, and play cards. It was a time to get together, share stories, and enjoy one another’s good company. Another tradition was Christmas Eve at their home in Livonia. The house would start filling up with family and friends early in the day. By 8:00 pm, there often was nowhere to stand, all the rooms and basement were full of people. Luella especially loved the singing of Christmas carols, which would start early and continue on most of the night. The last song of the night was usually a full participation rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
A woman of great strength, Luella’s love for life was evident in her mantra, “Life is what you make it,” and her favorite songs, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” by Louis Armstrong and “You Are My Sunshine.” While her opinions were strong and shared freely, Luella also embodied the principles of her faith. She loved completely, forgave often, and strove to be her best each and every day. Whether encouraging good grades, a strong work ethic, a day of play at the lake, or nurturing one’s faith, Luella was an unwavering stand for those she loved. The first to cheer other’s success, she was also a haven in life’s storms. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Luella was a delight and a gift.