After disappearing on June 26, UC Davis first-year and Placerville resident Linnea Noel Lomax was found on Sept. 7. She was 19.
According to her parents, Lomax was a victim of a sudden onset of mental illness and subsequent suicide.
Lomax graduated from El Dorado High School in 2011. In a tribute written by her family, Lomax is remembered as a bright, funny and compassionate young woman. She was known to sing at the top of her lungs even though she didn’t always know the lyrics.
“She was a bright light, a dear friend, a loving sister, devoted daughter and a sweet, open spirit,” her obituary stated. “She lived boldly, full of love and faith.”
A good friend of Lomax, second-year biology major Allison Holmstedt, said Lomax had a thermos that she decorated with a picture collage of her family and friends bearing a quote that said, “It takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 17 muscles to smile. Conserve energy.”
“I love Linnea so much for exactly that,” Holmstedt said. “She had such a bright, positive outlook on life and lifted spirits of everyone around her. Between making up silly songs on the spot, the ridiculous roundabout way she remembered vocabulary words, spinning around and jumping in puddles, to just the way she squinted her face before laughing when we joked at her expense — she would have impressed any environmental conservationist with how much energy she conserved from smiling and making us all smile.”
Although second-year agriculture and environmental education major Katie Twyman only knew Lomax for a short while, Lomax managed to change her life.
“This girl is my sunshine. She’s that smile on an off day,” Twyman said. “She is that girl that everyone knew as the most caring, unselfish, thoughtful, kind-hearted, loving girl that would always give her time, thoughts and effort to make sure everyone around her was happy.”
One of Lomax’s best friends since elementary school, second-year biology major Kadra Rademacher, attended the same schools with Lomax from kindergarten to college.
“Linnea had a soul that shone brighter than the sun,” Rademacher said. “She will be in the minds and hearts of every single person she ever met because she was just one of those people in life that makes an impression on you with one conversation. She put her whole heart into anything that she did and cared about the people in her life to the point where everyone that spent time with her felt a real connection to her. She was a loving, godly woman.”
Family friends of the Lomax family, Warren and Martha Dayton, own a design studio that does graphics for the Lomax family’s Christian adventure camp Rock-N-Water, where Lomax worked as a river guide.
“We have known Linnea since she was born; she always had an exuberance and zest for life that made people know she really liked them and wanted to be with them,” the Daytons said. “She had a deep joy and conveyed a gratitude that you cared about her, making people feel wonderful and welcome. Unusual in a young person, she was affectionate and giving to people in an older generation; at her graduation party, she expressed how delighted she was that we had come and made us feel special, though it was a party for herself.”
Lomax is survived by her parents, Craig and Marianne Lomax, and her 17-year-old sister Joy and 15-year-old brother Collin. In addition, she is also survived by her grandmother Emma Lomax of Placerville and her grandparents Mildred and Reino Haider of Sweden.
A memorial service was held for Lomax on Sept. 22 at Green Valley Community Church. Family, friends and the community were in attendance.