San Francisco Chronicle
August 7, 1957 - January 30, 2023
On January 30th, 2023, at the age of 65, Lori Beth Linker floated away from her home in Houston, TX, leaving a legacy of joy, kindness, and googly eyes.
Born on August 7th, 1957 in Newark, NJ, Lori was an avid reader & gifted chef from an early age who always loved the ocean. After Millburn High, Lori’s cooking career took her to Boston where she married & NYC where her daughter was born. In 1989, the family moved to SF.
Like many newcomers, Lori’s path wound through the Tenderloin. She was incredible at genuinely connecting with everyone she met, regardless of background or status, and never lost sight of the humanity of the many people who call the TL home. Her service to the neighborhood spanned 30 years, including a key role in BAWCC’s 1990s campaign for an elementary school for the 1000+ children living in the area.
Lori’s irreverent ability to find joy in any situation was infectious, and her goofy sense of humor was matched by her sharp and determined intellect. For years, she fit CCSF courses around her work, parenting and volunteer schedules, eventually graduating with highest honors from UC Berkeley in 2001. In 2003, Lori joined TNDC and worked her way up from services coordinator and grant writer to lead the fundraising department, where she raised tens of millions of dollars to house and support thousands of Tenderloin neighbors.
Her health tore her away from her work in 2020 but she eagerly embraced a new role as Bubbe (Yiddish for grandma), moving in next door to her daughter’s family in Houston. She defied a dire prognosis to not only meet but grow close to both of her grandsons. Cancer took Lori from us far too soon, but we are so blessed to have celebrated the last few years with her.
Lori is predeceased by parents Shirley & Jacob Linker; dear friends Jade Travers, Caia Grisar & Kelly Cullen; and the mischievous Tippy, clever Kasha & loyal Kila. She is survived by daughter Kelsey GilmoreInnis & son-in-law DJ; sisters Sharon, Joan & Marci; beloved aunt Dr. Frieda Weiner; former husband David Innis; honorary little brother Tom Innis; countless friends, extended family, & kindred spirits; and - of course! - the smartest, funniest, handsomest, lovingest boys a Bubbe ever could have, Murray & Franklin.
A celebration of Lori’s life will be held on Saturday, March 4th at 2:30pm at the Louis Sutter Roundhouse at McLaren Park. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan. org).