Obituary for Bennie Linkhart
LINKHART, Bennie passed away on December 19, 2017 at the age of 86. He was born on February 19, 1931, the beloved son of LaVon Liggett Linkhart and Bennie Linkhart and the big brother to three younger sisters. Bennie grew up in a small town near Sapulpa, Oklahoma, in a tiny farm house without any amenities. He was president of his senior class and a star football player. After high school, he served in the Army during the Korean Conflict, then returned to Oklahoma and attended Northeastern Junior College, where he was an All-Conference football player, later competing in the Junior Rose Bowl. Bennie earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma and his PhD from the University of Arizona in 1968. Bennie and June Marie Speed married in 1950, later welcoming three sons, Carl, Doug and Terry. During the early years of their marriage, Bennie worked in a steel mill, glass factory, paper mill, grocery store and in the hay and wheat fields. Neither he nor June were ever stopped by barriers that seemed too steep. They and everyone who loved them were happy to celebrate their 67th anniversary last May. Bennie was a math teacher and administrator at Catalina, Sahuaro and Palo Verde high schools, later retiring as an Asst. Superintendent for the Tucson Unified School District. A lifelong athlete, he won state weightlifting championships before turning to long distance running, where he held national records for his age group. He competed in marathons across the country, along with several ultra marathons. More than anything, Bennie enjoyed people, often providing advice and support for both professional careers and athletic pursuits. He could have a conversation with anyone, anywhere, and truly enjoyed meeting new friends. He was healthy until the end, and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. In addition to June and his three sons, Bennie is survived by three grandchildren, Eric, Ruby and Nathan, and his sisters, Lyn, Barbara and Norma. A Celebration of Bennie's life will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at La Mariposa, 1501 N. Houghton Rd., Tucson. In lieu of flowers, we will be setting up a memorial fund; details to come. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel.