John Linn

John Linn of Elm Springs, South Dakota, died on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at Monument Health Hospital in Rapid City at the age of 87. 
John E. Linn was born June 9, 1933 in Rapid City, SD to Elmer and Emma (Printz) Linn. He attended grade school in Elm Springs and graduated from Rapid City High School in 1951. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, in 1956. The day before he was ready to leave for an engineering job with International Harvester Company in Chicago, he received a draft notice from Uncle Sam. He reported to the US Army at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1957. He served 2 years active duty at the shock and vibration missile testing facility in White Sands, New Mexico and the VA hospital at Fort Meade as an engineer, and was honorably discharged.
John first met Jean Lovegren at a dance in Marcus, SD, in July 1959. It took him until September to ask her for a date to the dance at Union Center. They were married June 2, 1961 at the Union Center Community Church, with 10 people attending. John & Jean spent their honeymoon in Yankton, SD at the South Dakota Stockgrowers Convention. Many anniversaries over the years were spent at the annual convention. They also attended several National Cattleman conventions around the country during their marriage.
John went into partnership on the family ranch with his younger brother, Jim. They farmed and ranched together all their lives. He loved the first day of summer fallowing, packing his lunch, firing up the big tractor and plowing under the pigeon grass. His corn rows were always straight, the cows were always fed, the fences were always tight, and he never relaxed until the wheat crop was safely in the bins. He spent many hours welding broken farm equipment, thinking about how it should have been designed.
John was active in the local District 70 school board in the 1960’s. He was a member of the Elm Springs Hall Board for many years. The Linn family was always the last to leave the Saturday night dances because John always had to make sure the lights were off and the door was locked. He was a local salesman for Keltgen seed corn. He loved to plant a big patch of sweet corn every year and call in all the neighbors to help themselves. He was the treasurer for the Meade County Farm Bureau for several years. His bookkeeping was meticulous, even when the computer would give him fits. He inherited the duty of the US Weather Service reporting station from his parents. Nine years ago he received a 50 year plaque for exemplary service, with only his name on it, but guess who did most of the work.
In 1985 John miraculously survived a direct lightning strike. His clothes exploded in a hundred pieces and he spent 19 days in the hospital recovering from broken bones and severe burns. He loved to visit with friends and family, and never met a stranger that he couldn’t strike up a conversation with. In 1994 John and Jean bought a camper and made 35 trips around the country. His favorite destination was the Farm Fest in Mitchell, SD, to check out the latest thing in tractors and equipment. He loved his family and worked hard all his life to provide for them.
John is survived by his wife Jean of 59 years, one daughter, Charlotte and Brett Wilsey, Rapid City, two sons, Morris and Shirrise Linn, Elm Springs, Andrew and Kellie Linn, Elm Springs, 2 brothers, Charles and Carol Linn, Rapid City, Robert Linn, Conroe, Texas and seven grandchildren: Laura and Katie Wilsey, Kassandra and Laken Linn, Benjamin, Emily and Jacob Linn, several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, James Linn and sister-in-law Mary Linn.
Visitation will be one hour before the services in Elm Springs.
Funeral services are set for 2:00 pm, Tuesday, June 23 at the Elm Springs Hall, with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating. Interment will be at the Elm Springs Cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the Elm Springs Fire Hall.
A memorial has been established to the Elm Springs Church, Elm Springs Hall, and the Elm Springs Fire Department. Friends may sign John’s online guestbook at the Rush Funeral Home website.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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