Cartoonist Gets Her Final Resting Place

Linda Walter, cartoonist for the Susie Q. Smith comic panel and strip among others, died 14 years ago and since then she had been kept at a funeral home without getting a proper burial.


WOODSTOCK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After going unclaimed for many years, the cremated remains of 1950s comic strip illustrator Linda Walter will be laid to rest in Woodstock. A discovery by staff at the Wiltwyck Cemetery in Kingston revealed that a plot of land in the Woodstock Artists Cemetery had been reserved years ago as Walter’s intended final resting place.

Above: Comic Book Plus provides the complete contents of 1952 and 1953 Susie Q. Smith comic books.

Back to WTEN-TV:

Linda Walter passed away in 2009, and without any known descendants, her remains were kept at a local funeral home before recently being delivered to Wiltwyck Cemetery. Upon staff uncovering new information documenting that she was to be buried in Woodstock Artists Cemetery, the two cemeteries collaborated to honor the arrangements and finally lay Walter to rest.

Above: The Walter’s entry from the 1949 King Features Syndicate Famous Writers & Artists promo via Lileks.

Below: The first Susie Q. Smith panel (January 8, 1945) and the last Susie Q. Smith strip (November 28, 1959).

Linda Walter, 1945

3 thoughts on “Cartoonist Gets Her Final Resting Place

  1. Looking it up, I see that Linda Walters given name at birth was “Ethelynde”,so it is possible that not knowing that might have made tracking down any of her possible surviving nieces or nephews difficult. Or finding an already purchased plot. She married Jerry Walters in 1940, and at some point they divorced, as his obit mention that he had outlived his second wife when he died in 2007. Linda was mentioned in his obituary. He had been a copywriter and a successful abstract painter, and had been quite wealthy at some point. All of which makes this story the more odd. Without knowing more details, I can only guess that we all need to make a clear will, with clear instructions, and multiple copies.

  2. I am always amazed and delighted when I discover new old comic strips that I had not heard of before. This one has great artwork and is charming. One thing I noticed is that in the later example it was from McNaught Syndicate, not King Features Syndicate. I did some poking around, and found this comment here: – “In a very odd turn of events, in 1953 the Walters chose to leave King Features behind and hitch their wagon at the McNaught Syndicate. (King is notoriously lax about cancelling underperforming features, so I’d be surprised if the axe came down — I’m convinced it was the Walters who made the move.) Rejecting the sales powerhouse of Hearst for the comparatively sleepy environs of McNaught seems strange, but the Walters shook things up in an even more unusual way by changing their daily panel into a comic strip at the same time. The combination of a new syndicate and a new format actually seemed to click with newspaper editors. The feature added clients and became more visible in the next few years than at any other time in its history. Unfortunately for the Walters the honeymoon didn’t last and clients began to fall away. Perhaps the juggernaut of the Archie strip, which tread the same ground but with considerably more pizazz, was too much competition. Susie Q. Smith was cancelled on November 28 1959.” There must be a sad story as to how Ms. Walter’s cremated remains lingered at a funeral home for 14 years before being interred.

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