Family raises funds to keep home

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer

With a Portales man dying of pancreatic cancer and in danger of losing his house, his daughter and another relative are raising money to help.

Joe Linthicum, a 52-year-old lifelong Portales resident, is dying of pancreatic cancer. He was in chronic pain for two years, since a surgery to remove a mass from one lung, before his diagnosis in February, his daughter, Michelle Terry, said.

Because of medical expenses, he and his wife, Vickie, fell behind on payments for their home, where Joe grew up, and a pickup truck, Terry said.

The truck was repossessed, and Terry is working with another relative, Tessa Smith, to raise money in attempt to save the house from foreclosure.

“I want him to pass in peace, and right now, he can’t do that because he’s afraid of losing his house,” Terry said.

A bank account has been established at Portales National Bank under “Foundation for Joseph Linthicum.”

Also, Terry and Smith plan to take portraits for donations 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday in City Park. Customers can have several poses taken and receive an 8-by-10 photo and a CD of pictures.

No appointment is necessary.

Vickie Linthicum said she doesn’t expect the fundraising to save the house, which she and her husband owe $60,000 on. But she thinks the money will help them get into another home.

The mortgage company is allowing them to stay in the old house for another six weeks.

Vickie Linthicum said she thinks it’s fitting for her husband to die in the house where he grew up and has lived for seven years. She already feels overwhelmed by the love, concern and prayers the community has offered, she said.

“It just really makes me realize there are people out there with big hearts,” Vickie Linthicum said.

Smith said people hear a lot of stories about others hurting, but this situation is different to her because her husband’s cousin is involved and because the Linthicums are in desperate need. Although she doesn’t have great financial means, she said, Smith thought she could give of herself and trust God to provide.

Terry said Joseph Linthicum’s cancer is spreading rapidly.

“It’s hard just to see your loved one wither away in front of you,” she said.