Who's Who of Professional Women


Linda Philabaun

For more than 40 years, Dr. Linda Philabaun led a successful career in Ministry and the thoroughbred horse business. A graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, she earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Palliative Care. She secured certificates in clinical pastoral education from the Cancer Treatment Center of America. There she utilized the holistic approach of care for many of the patients. Dr. Philabaun witnessed miracles there and developed a passion for cancer care and research. Moreover, she completed two residencies a Northwest Community Hospital with a focus in oncology hospice work.

Since 1994, she has served in the Ministry for various Presbyterian Churches beginning as an Associate Pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Round Lake, Illinois. From there she pastored two churches in Lewisville, Indiana, then on to two more churches in Elwood and Tipton, Indiana. She was honorably retired in 2014 from the Whitewater Valley Presbytery. Outside her primary endeavors, Dr. Philabaun worked during her undergraduate years as Campus Ministry Director for the University of Dubuque. She also served as Spiritual Director at the East Central Indiana Emmaus/Chrysalis Community, Inc.

Before embarking on her career in Ministry, Dr. Philabaun worked in the thoroughbred horse business as assistant to the track veterinarian at Churchill Downs. She relocated to northern Illinois, where she managed a breeding and foaling operation farm for a good number of years. It was during those days with horses she felt the call to Ministry and moved back home to Peoria, Illinois, to begin her seminary studies at Dubuque. Following ordination, she served Whitewater Valley Presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry, as President of the Board of Directors and for the Coordinating Council of the Presbyterian Church, USA. In 2007, she completed her Doctorate and published “Dying with Dignity: Palliative Care for the Dying Church.” She is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and the German American Society.

Her life was filled with highlights as a successful horsewoman who helped prepare horses for the track. She overcame great obstacles such as the loss of family members, Robert and Clara Weast and her husband Robert Philabaun. She transformed her pain into becoming an advocate of bereavement counseling. She attributes her success all to God whom she saw through the beauty of nature. She committed her life to Christ at the age of 14. Her grandmother was her inspirational and supportive figure throughout her professional journey.

Nowadays, she serves as a Retired Interim Pastor for Washington Presbyterian Church, Washington, Illinois, prior to serving as Interim at Farmington First Presbyterian Church in Farmington, Illinois. In her free time considered self-care, she enjoys a good horse race, downhill skiing, reading, spiritual retreats, nature walks, and an adoring Maine Coon cat. She will never forget meeting Secretariat!


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