Orville John Linn
Orville John Linn, age 75, born May 09, 1938, died July 14, 2013
Orville John Linn left a large footprint. At well over six feet and 200 lbs. that was certainly true of his physical presence. But for those who knew him-as a teacher, a coach or a friend-it was also true of the personality who inhabited it.
Though his place of entry into the world (Oregon City on May 9, 1938) and the place where he would depart it (Beaverton on July 14, 2013) lay separated by less than a dozen miles, John Linn covered a lot of ground in the 75 years it took him to make that journey. He traveled around the world-across Europe, through Central and South America, to Australia and New Zealand, and to all 50 of the United States-and, upon visiting Antarctica, literally to the ends of the earth.
John's journey in life began in Carus, a rural community south of Oregon City, raised by loving parents and surrounded by aunts and uncles. Upon graduation from Molalla High School in 1956, John enrolled at Oregon College of Education where he would distinguish himself in both academics and football?and co-founded the unofficial fraternity, TKB (Tappa Kegga Beer)-en route to receiving a bachelor's in education in 1960.
It was at OCE where John would meet Ann Sylvia Flesher, (soon to be Ann Linn), also an educator, who would be his wife and traveling companion for the rest of his life. Together they would have two sons, Kurtis Jon in 1963 and Kyle Ryan in 1967 (d. 1976) both inquisitive, active boys who would reflect John's dual callings as teacher and coach.
As a teacher, first at Willamina, then Lincoln, Beaverton, Westview and finally Southridge High Schools, John used his master's in Guidance and Counseling gained from Portland State in 1968, and his natural penchant for storytelling to create a relaxed learning atmosphere. As a coach of wrestling, track and most notably, football, John's approach was intense, with impressive results. None more so than in 1980, when in his third season as head coach, John delivered Beaverton High its first AAA State Champ-ionship in football. Though it remains the crowning achievement of his coaching career, perhaps his most enduring legacy remains the thousands of student athletes who fondly remember "Coach Linn."
Upon his retirement in 1993, John devoted much of his time to traveling, as well as to his interests as an avid golfer and bridge player and to spending as much time as he could fishing and roughhousing with his grandsons, Kiel Cory Linn and Ty Hunter Linn.
A celebration of John's life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Beaverton High School gymnasium.
Donations may be made to St. Vincent's Hospital or the American Cancer Society.
Published in The Oregonian on October 6, 2013 .