Linda Kay Radford Salmon, age 77 of Paris, TN, passed away peacefully in her home on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Visitation will be Monday, January 2, 2023, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, TN, with the funeral service beginning at 1:00 pm at Ridgeway Funeral Home. Burial will be in Olive Branch Cemetery, 2550 TN-140, Cottage Grove, TN.
Linda Kay Radford Salmon was born September 16, 1945 in Paris, TN, the daughter of Claud and Rozelle Radford. Kay was raised on the Radford family farm in Ore Springs, TN. She attended Central School in Ore Springs and graduated from Dresden High School in 1963. She also graduated from Bruce Business College in Martin, TN. Kay was a lifelong Methodist, and was a member of Olive Branch Methodist Church in Cottage Grove, TN for most of her life, and Dresden First United Methodist Church in later years.
Kay married John Linville Salmon on April 4, 1965 at Olive Branch Methodist Church. Kay and John made their home on Kay’s grandparents’ farm near Garrett Lake, raised their three children there, and enjoyed 57 years of beautiful marriage on their farm. Kay was an exceptional southern cook, gardener, and cared deeply for their many pets and farm animals. She was also a wonderful friend, nurturing countless lifelong friendships. Kay was honored by the Dresden Iris Festival Committee twice, by being named a Golden Iris.
“Miss Kay” was the Dresden Elementary School secretary, a beloved fixture of the front office for 37 years. She greeted the children and staff every morning with a warm smile and a helping hand. Kay had a soft spot in her heart for those children who needed extra help, quietly providing for them in many ways by reaching into her special desk drawer to offer school supplies, trinkets, snacks, or even money for things like school fees, field trip dues, or milk break money. She held countless children in her lap, comforting them on hard days. She treasured her friendships with the staff and sought to make generations of children feel important and loved.
While Kay loved all children, no one received more of her love than her own three children, Tracy, Gina, and Andy, and her six grandchildren. Kay worked year-round to plan “Camp Salmon” for her grandchildren—a week of fun on the farm with “Nana” and “Daddy John.” 2022 marked the 13th anniversary of Camp Salmon, which originated as summer activities to entertain the grandkids, but the true gift was how it deepened generational family bonds and the connection to the farm. The Camp Salmon tradition will live on in her memory.
Kay was preceded in death by her parents, Claud and Rozelle Radford, and is survived by her husband, John Salmon, and brother, Kenneth Radford. She is also survived by her children, Tracy (Natalie) Salmon, Gina Workman, Andy (Farrah) Salmon, six grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nephews, and countless wonderful friends.
Pallbearers are Kay’s six grandchildren, Mary Kate Throckmorton, Bea Workman, Jack Workman, Wally Workman, John Evan Salmon, and Ava Salmon. Honorary pallbearers are Scotty Radford, Keith Radford, Jack Bailey, Michael Laughery, Johnny Salmon, Dawn Salmon, Tim Moore, and Whit Throckmorton.
All arrangements and services are under the direction of Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, TN. The family suggests two options for memorial contributions: “Miss Kay’s Drawer,” a fund to assist Dresden Elementary School students in need, or Dresden First United Methodist Church Building Fund.
“Miss Kay’s Drawer”: 759 Linden St. B., Dresden, TN 38225; checks payable to Dresden Elementary School, memo: Miss Kay’s Drawer
First United Methodist Church: 411 Morrow Street, Dresden, TN 38225; checks payable to First United Methodist Church, memo: Building & Renovation Fund