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May 25, 2020
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Robert Martin Linn


Published May 09, 2019

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Robert Martin Linn passed away peacefully at home on April 13. Despite the difficulties of contending in the past year with medical issues following a surgery, Bob remained optimistic and grateful for the medical professionals and caregivers who helped him. His warmth, kindness, and great hugs were always at the ready for those he loved and who loved him.

Bob was born on Aug. 1, 1930, in Cleveland, Ohio, the only son of Katherine and Carl Linn. Bob attended Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) on a four-year football scholarship and earned a bachelor of science and engineering degree in 1952. He was an active member of SAE fraternity and was elected to Theta Tau, an honorary engineering society, but the highlight of Bob’s college career was meeting his wife Marilyn on a blind date at the beginning of his sophomore year.

After a brief stint at IBM, Bob was hired by Reliance Electric Company in Cleveland. In his 28-year career as a sales engineer at Reliance, Bob and Marilyn relocated four times, moving their family to Syracuse, Boston, Seattle, and finally to Madison. In 1983 until his retirement in 2003, Bob set out on his own as a manufacturer representative specializing in assembly automation equipment. With his ready smile and love of making things work, Bob was a born salesman and very much enjoyed running his own successful business, while remaining current in his field as an active member and secretary of the Society of Manufacturing Engineering for many years.

Bob loved his sports, and when he could no longer play football, he could be found on the volleyball or tennis court or on a bike ride. When his knees started to object to more active pursuits, he spent many happy hours building and flying stunt kites and radio-controlled model airplanes. Aviation also came into play during his time in the Navy Reserve, where he served in a lighter-than-air (LTA) squadron as the man responsible for securing a blimp upon landing.

He served as an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in New Haven for 8 years and as a deacon at the North Madison Congregational Church, where he was a member for 20 years.


Bob is survived by his college sweetheart and loving wife of 66 years, Marilyn; their son Jeffrey Linn and his wife Terri (Cusato) of Old Saybrook; daughter Wendy Linn Gravatt and her husband Sam of Branford; and son Dr. Steven Linn and his spouse Dawn Thornton of Philadelphia. He also leaves five grandchildren, Susan Linn Michalak and her husband Todd, Brian Linn and his wife Mandy, Elizabeth Linn, Christopher Linn, and Margot Linn; and great-granddaughter Anna Michalak, who is awaiting the arrival of her baby brother George.


A memorial service will be held at the North Madison Congregational Church at 1:00 p.m. on June 1. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the North Madison Congregational Church or Scranton Memorial Library.

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