In Memoriam Linda Patia Spear PhD

Whitney Point, NY – Linda Patia Spear, PhD, Obituary

Linda Spear (née Patia), age 70, of Whitney Point, transitioned to eternity on October 13, 2020 at Wilson Memorial Hospital. Originally from Springfield, Illinois, Linda moved to Vestal in 1975 to work as a Psychology Professor at Binghamton University. There she met the love of her life, Norman “Skip” Spear, and the two remained inseparable in work and play until her passing. Theirs was a beautiful romance and love story, punctuated by times of hilarity and challenge, but always with devotion and love of family.

In addition to Skip, her devoted husband of 45 years, Linda is survived by her daughters, Jennifer (Spear) Smith (Marcus) and Amanda “Mandy” (Spear) Hartley (Larry); her beloved grandchildren Kyra, Nathan, Calvin, Reed, and Justice; her brother Larry Patia (Patty), niece Kaitlyn (Matt) and nephew Alex (Sierra).

Linda was a force of intellect and accomplishment. She couldn’t be held to one task at a time—that was too boring and slow. She mastered hobbies like knitting, reading, birding, tennis, cooking, and dog training, with the same drive she applied to her successful scientific career. As a Distinguished Professor in neuropsychopharmacology, she amassed over 450 publications, books, honors and awards, and mentored countless students. Her contributions to her field were significant and renowned, and her passion for science was ceaseless. She continued working until two months before her death.

Linda cherished the role of Grandma and dedicated time and energy to visiting and following the lives of her grandchildren. She and Skip built a beautiful cabin, a cherished family retreat full of happy memories. Linda loved to laugh, eat good food, drink delicious wine, and celebrate life with us all.

By the time this is read, a private service will have been held. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Linda’s name to Plan International ( to transform the lives of impoverished children. We ask that you raise a glass and toast her beautiful and strong soul. She told us she knew where she was going, to be with her God, to whom she was devoted and always seeking. Our hearts are broken, but full with the goodness of her life and love.