Linda R. Kurella

July 16, 1939 ‒ October 24, 2018

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Linda Railingshafer Kurella, age 79, of Hall Drive, Mount Vernon, Ohio passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at OSU Ross Heart Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Pittsburgh July 16, 1939–the daughter of Carl and Elizabeth Railingshafer.

She attended Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh. Linda met her husband John while they both worked at the University of Pittsburgh. They were married June 30, 1962. Their abiding love for one another informed and defined their life with their children, grandchildren and friends. Every life Linda touched was made better by the kindness, compassion, and unconditional love she shared.

Linda’s life in Mount Vernon was centered around family and friends; church and her creative endeavors. Linda and John shared their commitment to faith as members of Gay Street United Methodist Church. She loved singing in the church choir, attending Sunday school, Bible Study, and serving on the church’s board. Her passion for sewing and creativity flourished as an avid quilter and in her participation with several quilting groups. She enjoyed her book clubs and bridge groups and her many, many friendships. Linda and John shared a passion for jazz, dancing, and gourmet cooking.

Linda contributed to her community while also working several meaningful jobs. She proudly worked at the New Directions Women’s Shelter, with hospice care in Mount Vernon, and dedicated many years to Kenyon College as the Secretary to the Dean of Admissions.

Linda is survived by sisters Beth Snoke and Shelly Gebar; son Eric and wife Carol Kurella; daughter Amy and husband Dave Jones; son James and wife Jordan Kurella; niece Julia Gebar; grandchildren, Allen and wife Heather Kurella; Kaitlyn and husband Geoff Rosenaw; Karleighana and David John Jones, III; John Paul and Stacey Brown; Tausha and Jon Terland; her great-great grandchildren, Alexis, Jonny, and Alivia; and Brittney, Ashley, Zoey.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 27, 2019 the Gay Street United Methodist Church, 18 North Gay St.., Mount Vernon with Rev. Karen Oehl officiating.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Linda Railingshafer Kurella.

Memorial contributions in Linda’s name can be made to New Directions of Mt. Vernon Ohio, visit

To share a memory or leave condolences for the family, visit


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  • I met Linda when she was a teenager. I was privileged to be her Pastor for 10 years and to officiate at her wedding to John Kurella. Now I delight in the fact that her Pastor during this past year has been my daughter, the Rev. Karen M. Oehl.
    I will remember Linda for many things — such as the generous way she gave of herself to her church and other worthy causes. I will remember her for allowing me to know John Kurella, a remarkable person in his own life. Perhaps I will remember her most for the genuine support she gave me and my ministry — not only when she was a member of a church I served, but even from afar.
    I will miss her joyful spirit and her loving encouragement.

  • Linda was one of the most wonderful women I have been fortunate enough to work with. Her beautiful smile and spirit were a joy to encounter each day, and she never allowed anything to dim the light she radiated. She was always professional and kind, and tackled any task with willingness and grace. What a blessing to her family, friends and community.

  • James and Amy,
    Many Many thoughts from Florida
    Ann Hudson is here visiting. ASP is on our minds. Hugs from both of us. Perry and Ann

  • Rest In Peace Dear Linda, Even though we only got to meet you a few years ago, our lives have been enriched by our get-togethers at Donatos. Your bravery in making every effort to be with us was outstanding, even though it might have been easier for you to stay at home. You will be missed. Sending your family and friends our deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Susie and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Eric, Amy, and James and families:

    Your mother was one of the good ones, one of the best. Among her many good qualities, she was most generous in her hospitality. It was shown in dozens or hundreds of ways, but perhaps most of all in their (Linda and John’s) decades of New Year’s Eve parties enjoyed by 20 to 40 people always. We are sorry for your loss, but grateful that you in her family were special recipients of her hospitality and love.

    Bonnie and Jim Magaw

  • The Waters family all share fun and wonderful memories of the Kurellas when we had our children on Plaza Dr. Visits, dinners, parties etc. were many. Linda and John were two of the most gracious and kind people we have ever known. Bruce and I send our warmest and heartfelt sympathy to family and friends of Linda.

  • “Unconditional love”
    Hello, this is Eric, one of Linda’s sons.
    Tues, the 23rd, in the OSU Ross Hospital, on the I.C.U. floor, the hospital chaplin, Phillip, visited with Mom.
    One of the things that the two of them talked about was “…what was most memorable in your life?”.
    Mom replied “…her children, and unconditional love to them and others”.

    If you knew Linda, and think back to your interaction with her, you experienced “unconditional love”.
    That is what Jesus taught her, and that is what she is teaching you.
    Thank you, everyone, for your friendship towards Mom, Linda….

  • Dear Kurella Family,

    I am saddened by the loss of Linda. She and John defined for me Kenyon College at its best. They were always so welcoming, and made me feel like this was part of an extended family. Now she and John have joined a larger community of “faithful witnesses”. Linda’s presence will be missed by those whose life she touched.

    Royal Rhodes
    Donald L. Rogan Professor
    of Religious Studies, Emeritus
    Kenyon College

  • Our condolences to Amy and James and the family, Linda was like another mother to me through good times and bad. I am so glad I got to visit with her last year when I was in Ohio. I will miss her love, wisdom, and wonderful hugs.

    Meredith McGuire and Family

  • Amy, James, Eric, and families:
    I am saddened at losing a treasured friend in Christ. Working on committees together at church allowed me to gain a great friendship with your Mother.
    I always loved her great smile and her devotion to her church, but more importantly, to her family. She was proud of each of you and your families.
    I know she missed your Dad terribly and what a great reunion they’re experiencing, one that we all will enjoy one day, as well.
    I’m thankful for Linda’s friendship and her presence will be missed. Well done, thy good and faithful servant!

    A friend in Christ,

  • I am sorry for your loss. I met Linda many years ago at quilt guild.
    She was a very special lady, one of the kindest ladies I have ever known.
    Prayers for her entire family.

    Fran Kempton

  • Linda and I both started at Kenyon in the summer of 1983. Even though I left three years later, it was always a treat to come back and see her when I stopped by Ransom Hall. Her laugh was infectious and we had many a wonderful conversation; whether about the latest cross stitch project, a recipe or hearing about her children and then the grands! I still make projects from a cross stitch book Linda gave me that is filled with post-its she wrote about suggestions for color combinations, those she had done and which ones were favorites.

    I send prayers to the entire Kurella family on your loss and may the Almighty provide you with comfort knowing how much your mother loved you and the lives she touched that are known and unknown to you. Peace to you all.

    Isaiah 41:10

    Pamela Pleasants