This boy's family goes way back in county history
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:00 PM
A Crawfordsville boy, this week's subject's family goes way back in our county to John Linn born Aug. 4, 1800, in Ohio, died in Montgomery County on Sept. 16, 1858. John Linn was a very early settler - of course in the Linnsburg-Mace area. Our fella's VanScoyoc and Harwood ancestors were also in Montgomery County early on. Gary and his sweet wife, Sherri (Murphy) once went to the Mace cemetery and noted, "There were all kinds of Linns!" Gary's father, Stanley, told him that, "All the Linns around here are related in some way!"
Well, Gary Linn, himself, is quite the lover of Montgomery County. "I lived in C'ville all my life. It's a great place to grow-up and raise children." In fact, just this last weekend, a college friend of Gary's visited and absolutely fell in love with our fair city. Indeed, many visitors to our area have fallen in love with it, but in this case, I'm thinking they may have been wooed by the yummy Strawberry Festival goodies, too! Definitely, Crawfordsville has changed (Gary mentioned several times that he missed the A&W), yet the constant is good people who work consistently for the betterment of the community.
Gary attended the old Castle Wilson School, Tuttle and the old CHS (Athena Center). During high school, he played basketball and was vice president of his class. Also while in school, Gary was in the Journal Review-sponsored Jr. Achievement and did some sports writing for them. Purdue (Go Boilers) was next (graduating in Social Studies Education). In the fall of 1972, he did his student teaching at North Montgomery then did a maternity leave and other subbing. After a year at Westfield and two years of Sports Editing for the J-R, Don Fine called, offering Gary a Social Studies teaching position in the Junior High. That was 37 years ago. When I queried Gary about how much longer he had plans to teach, he replied, "Well, one more year probably but when I get over in the new school, who knows," since he's having as much fun teaching now as 20 years ago. Certainly, he wants to end his career in a positive way.
Clearly, Gary feels that the great kids and the super administration throughout the years (beginning with Merrell Dailey, as well as Kathy Steele, Scott Bowling, Jay Strickland and Jason Surber) has made his time teaching an unbelievable experience. The caring staff who go above and beyond doing for young people help make his job well worth heading to each day. What is unique about being in education is that no two days are ever alike. "You just can't predict the new challenges and rewards!"
Sherri was a North Montgomery girl through and through. Gary wore gold and blue and she wore blue and orange. Close, but worlds apart as one sat on the Crawfordsville side and the other North's. Gary said it became quite an entertainment for the crowds as he and Sherri would mock each other across the gym. No matter who won, though, it wasn't discussed after the game. Of course, since the Linns' two sons were both CHS grads, Sherri eventually came around. However, son Bryan graduated from IU and Gary wanted it noted that he'll never root for the Hoosiers. Bryan works for IDEX Diagnostic Lab where he sells equipment to Veterinarians. He was recently the top salesman, winning a trip to Italy. He and wife, Angie, live in Noblesville and have the Linns' two adorable grandchildren, Brady, age five and Mia, two. During High School, Bryan played football, basketball and baseball.
Other son, Brett was a natural diver, showing a real knack for it at the Pleasant Meadows pool. In fact, Brett went to state in 2009 in diving and was also center fielder on the 2008 State Champion baseball team. Brett is a DePauw graduate and works for Allegient in computer software.
Gary said he has literally coached every sport at Tuttle, having something each year. He particular enjoys football and basketball. CHS is also part of his repertoire as he coached the varsity girls one year and was assistant varsity boys basketball coach several years.
History is Gary's subject, and also his love. Every year he takes a history trip. He's been to every National Park Battlefield and to Gettysburg ten times and is even toying with the idea of working at Gettysburg some upon retirement. Gary particularly enjoys teaching 8th grade US History. My grandson Dane, told me he couldn't wait to go to Mr. Linn's class when he was at Tuttle a couple of years ago. It was always interesting and fun. Mr. Linn reflects that when guiding student teachers, he would tell them to, "Approach every lesson as the best thing the students will hear that day. Get excited about what you're teaching and the kids will, too!" Gary said even after 37 years, he learns from not only the other teachers but students as well. Jr. Hi is definitely where he wants to be! Sherri has been around Tuttle, too, since the early 80s as a teacher's aide and school treasurer.
When I wanted to know what kept Gary and Sherri together all these years, he told me the same interests, spring break travelling, sports and humor. They indulge in constant fun battle. Also, the two were always on the same page raising their children. They believed in teaching the boys certain standards, values and morals and agreed upon punishments. Along with those values, church is important to the couple. They attended First United Methodist for many years, but are currently attending Rock Point. Gary is an intelligent, fun person and I had a grand time supping with him at Pizza Hut this week and want to give him a big shout-out thank you for letting me feature him in ATC.
Karen Zach is the editor of Montgomery Memories magazine and writes about local people every Thursday in The Paper.