“Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt
Family and Educational Background:
Linda Mungay was born on March 3, 1958 in Ridgewood, at a medical facility now called Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. Her parents, Dolores and Carl(deceased), were delighted to welcome Linda and her twin sister, Lois, into their cozy Ridgewood home. Her older sister, Diane (deceased), was happy to have not one, but two playmates. When the twins were six months old, the family moved to Middle Village.
Linda attended PS 128 in Middle Village and IS 73 in Maspeth. Her high school years were spent at Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, graduating in 1976, the Centennial year, which she remembers fondly because they wore Liberty Bell tassels on their mortar boards. LaGuardia Community College. CUNY, was her choice for higher education. She graduated with an AAS degree in 1978, having specialized in Business and Secretarial Studies. At the present time, Linda is within 20 credits of completing a baccalaureate degree at The College of Staten Island.
Three very special family members in Linda’s life are: her mother Dolores, her sister Lois, and her son Robert. Her Mom is a long time resident of Middle Village. Robert(Bobby), now 19, graduated from Forest Hills High School in June 2003. Her sister Lois, recently retired from the New York City Fire Department after 22 years of service. She was one of the first female firefighters hired by the NYFD.
Career Highlights:During her studies at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), Linda accepted an internship with Con Edison in Manhattan. She enjoyed her placement so much and her performance was such that the company offered her full-time employment, initially as a typist, when she graduated in 1978. Later she was promoted to Executive Secretary, and for the last 20 years she has held the position of Procurement Specialist with Con Edison. In the late 90’s, because of her outstanding work in this procurement position, she received the NY/NJ Purchasing Council Award for commitment to minority business opportunities. Now she can boast of 26 years of continuous employment with one of the oldest and most prestigious companies in New York.
Community Involvement:When Bobby was a toddler, Linda took him to Juniper Valley Park to play and “hang out.” To this day, fifteen years later, Bobby and Linda, can be found in the park, enjoying its beauty, being the eyes and ears of the community, and “doing what needs to be done,” especially around the tennis and handball courts, the sprinklers, and the swing and play areas. “There is always something that needs to be done,” she said. “We do clean-up, painting, leave-raking, snow shoveling, graffiti removal, tennis court assignments, and other things that assist the park workers so that they can do other maintenance tasks which require use of equipment.” She also works with Pete Polonski, another park volunteer, in planting flowers and maintaining the beauty of the area. Because she is employed full-time with ConEd, her usual hours are 5:00-7:00 p.m. on week days and all afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays. Usually she is the one to lock up in the evenings, since the parks employees have finished their shifts at an earlier hour. At the June 2004 meeting of The Juniper Park Civic Association, Linda was honored for her dedication and service to the park.
In Conclusion . . .
Linda affirmed for me that there is a niche for all of us to contribute to the well-being and safety of our community. “People who use the park should pitch in and keep it clean and safe,” she said. She continued, “It’s nice to have a piece of ‘country’ in the city.” She likes to see people enjoying our beautiful park and know that it is a clean and safe place to play and “hang out.” Paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt, each one of us should do what we can with what we have, where we are. Have you discovered your special talents and how you can apply them to be of service to others in our community?