Sunday, April 2, 2023

Linda Davidson Steele Clark (Cozyris): 1938-2022

Posted By on Sun, Apr 2, 2023 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Linda Davidson Steele Clark (Cozyris), Sept. 28, 1938, to Dec. 21, 2022.
  • Linda Davidson Steele Clark (Cozyris), Sept. 28, 1938, to Dec. 21, 2022.

On Dec. 21, 2022, Linda Davidson Steele Clark left this auditorium, and traveled to the next stage.

Linda was born in Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 28, 1938, to parents Trevor Arnett Steele and Helen Davidson Steele. She passed away Dec. 21, 2022, in Eureka, California. Linda is survived by her husband Terry L. Clark of Arcata, California, her three children: Trevor Cozyris (Caroline) of Santa Cruz, California; Kali Cozyris (Peggy) of Eureka, California, Kristian Cozyris (Emily) and grandchildren Amalia and Claire Cozyris of Edmond, Oklahoma; and her beloved dogs Razzy and Ebony, and cat Sookie. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her former husband, Dr. George A. Cozyris.

Linda was an incredibly accomplished and beloved woman. She was active in theatre as an actor, director, critic and consultant. She was a businesswoman, a teacher, a mother, a wife, a poet, a writer, an animal lover, rescuer and advocate. Her departure leaves an immeasurable hole in the hearts of so many, especially her devoted husband Terry and her three grown children. Linda was a force of nature who impacted and enriched many lives through her love, generosity and expanse of spirit, laughter, wit, energy and presence. She was vivacious, witty, brilliant, sophisticated, strong, beautiful and stylish. Linda was all the colors of the rainbow with every hue saturated to the fullest.

From her father, Linda gained a deep appreciation of nature; from her mother, a love of beauty, music and the arts. She grew up an only child, but her days were filled with the enrichment granted her through her love of literature, animals and the exploration of her surroundings.

Later, as a young woman, Linda treasured her years at the University of Oregon, where she obtained degrees in English and Theater. She was a prolific actress during her four years at U of O, with her favorite roles being Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. Linda continued her education with graduate work in theater, English, and education at U.C. Davis and CSU Sacramento.

After college, the bright, creative spark in Linda compelled her to Hollywood, where she was cast in the sword-and-sandal epic Spartacus (1960), and had bit parts in TV sitcoms of the era including The Ozzy and Harriet Show. What was typically required of young women to make it big in Hollywood at that time was not anything Linda would entertain. While at times she wondered what might have been if she had found genuine success in Hollywood and stayed, she never regretted the path she chose next.

As she left Hollywood behind, Linda’s creative spark never dimmed. In fact, it grew into a blaze that burned passionately her entire life. Her love of theatre and the performing arts led her to teaching high school English, speech and drama in central California. Linda's fondest memories of her varied work life were teaching high school in Davis, where she directed students in plays, taught summer drama workshops, and coached students for statewide drama and speech competitions. Linda wrote theatrical reviews of community, school, and professional theatre productions as an arts and entertainment columnist for The Davis Enterprise and The Sacramento Bee. Linda also acted and directed at Davis Community Theatre, where she played Mame in Auntie Mame, Lorraine in The Man Who Came to Dinner, and Queen Anne in UC Davis’s production of Richard III.

During that time, Linda met fellow theatre arts teacher George Cozyris and married him in 1969. Linda and George had three children: Trevor A. Cozyris, Kali E. Cozyris and Kristian M. Cozyris, fulfilling Linda’s dream of becoming a mother and settling into a happy family life. Her children were her absolute life and loves. Linda cherished being a mother and grandmother most of all and was superbly suited for it. She always proudly recited one of her favorite stories (paraphrasing): “When the Queen was asked what were her most treasured jewels, she answered, ‘my children’…”

Drawn by the beauty of the ocean and the forests, Linda and her family moved to Humboldt County in the 1980s, where her husband George became a professor at (then) Humboldt State University. She and George opened several businesses in Eureka, including Treasures of Atlantis, Atlantis, Diva Boutique and The Sandwich Factory. Linda and George fed the Old Town/Downtown Eureka patrons well with their Greek specialties and superb deli foods at The Sandwich Factory. At her clothing and gift boutiques, Linda dressed many of the community’s dignitaries and local celebrities from head to toe in original and chic outfits and jewels. She was known for her impeccable fashion sense and knowing how to bring the best out in those she dressed. Linda and George also opened and ran boutique stores in Sacramento and Mendocino.

While Linda’s children were in school, she often helped with their school plays as a theatre coach, and chaperoned more than a few trips to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She continued to support local live theatre and the arts with season tickets to Ferndale Repertory Theatre, Redwood Curtain Theatre and Center Arts at (now) Cal Poly Humboldt. She instilled that love and appreciation of the arts in her three children, who all have gone on to thrive with their music, film and theatre endeavors.

In 1996, Linda moved to her sanctuary in the redwood mountains of Arcata, where she spent the rest of her life nurtured by living in paradise with a spectacular view of the bay. Linda loved gardening and surrounding herself with beauty. Her home in the hills of Sunny Brae was filled with antiquities from her and her former husband’s travels to Greece and her home’s multi-level deck was generously populated with beautiful potted plants, garden tchotchkes, wall plaques and artwork. Linda also was a huge animal lover, especially cats and Chow Chows. She and her husbands rescued many, and they graced her house and life all her years there.

Through the magic of mutual friends and the internet, the Fall of 1998 brought Linda and Terry L. Clark together, where their new acquaintanceship grew and blossomed. They were married on Feb. 27, 2000, extending each other's life by many years.

Along those lines, Linda’s family would like to express many thanks to, and appreciation for, Drs. Connie Basch and Chere Edgar, who added life to Linda's years, and years to her life.

It would seem that this world’s light should have dimmed for Linda’s passing, but instead, Linda continues to shine her magnificence everywhere. Her light burns so brightly in her children and in the heart of her husband Terry. Everywhere there is light, there is Linda. She is in the warm white Christmas lights on the mantle that glowed a little brighter this year, she is in the beautiful pre-sunset light shining through the clouds watching down as her daughter plays with Linda’s “grand dogs,” she is in the light twinkling in her children and grandchildren’s eyes, whenever they think of her. Linda, who gave so much love to so many while she was here, is now the very essence of love itself – and as such, she is everywhere.

In the words of one of Linda’s favorite poets:

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

~Kahlil Gibran, “On Death”

There is no service at this time. Condolences will be gratefully welcomed at the family address below.

Linda’s Family
1595 Gates St.
Eureka, CA, USA, 95501
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