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“What an opportunity to learn from her,” Friends say goodbye to Linda Cavanaugh

OKLAHOMA CITY - Life is a revolving door of relationships. But, the special people never leave your heart.

For Cherokee Ballard, that was Linda Cavanaugh.

"Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey. In Oklahoma, it was Linda Cavanaugh," Ballard said.

Ballard was a wide-eyed intern at News 4 in the 80's, when her path crossed with an Oklahoma legend.

"It was exciting and scary and I thought, 'What an opportunity to learn from her,'" she recalled.

Ballard fondly remembers inviting Linda to speak at OU.

“She was so sweet and came and spoke to about 300 college women. Just really inspired the whole room," she said. "And after it was over, she was like, 'Where`s the food?'”

That "girl next door" quality endeared her to everyone. But, Linda was also a hard-hitting journalist and globetrotter who made an impact with every investigation.

Ballard recalls a series called "Beloved and Betrayed" on nursing home abuse.

"Through that series and Linda's vision and what it should be, we changed state law. Which was fantastic," said Ballard.

There is no one better at crafting a story. The words pour from Linda like clear water from a bountiful stream. And we've all tapped into the resource.

We have laughed and cried with Linda Cavanaugh for 4 decades.

She has climbed the mountain of journalism and finally gets to enjoy the view.

"She's going to be missed. She'll be remembered as that person in your living room, the person you trust," Ballard told News 4. "That voice is never going to fade from anyone's memory. I think she'll be remembered as the fantastic journalist and person that she is and she will be missed by a lot of people.”