Obituary: James Richardson Linville
September 19, 1947 – April 19, 2021
Jim Linville lived his life to the fullest with integrity, passion
His love of all things wild was engendered at an early age in the
green pastures and hills of Conifer, Colorado. He grew up with three strong sisters on a ranch owned and operated as a summer camp for underprivileged inner city kids from Denver. His dad, Henry (Hank) was the camp director and teacher. His mother, Virginia
(Ginny) worked as a Social Worker for the Denver public schools. Jim and his sisters Virginia (Ru), Mary, and Jane wandered the hills on foot, on skis, or on horseback. The woods and the beaver ponds were their playground. Jim especially loved riding bareback,
at night, across the meadows.
Jim lost his dad, whom he revered, at the age of eighteen. As was
his character, he took over as man of the family. He was a protective and kind big brother to his sisters.
Jim was valedictorian of his high school class and received a Boettcher
Foundation scholarship. He was accepted at Stanford but decided he wanted to be closer to home in his beloved Colorado, so he went to Colorado State University and graduated with a civil engineering degree.
After he graduated, he joined the Peace Corps in Kenya for 4 years, using his
engineering prowess to build water systems and road ways. He became fluent in Swahili.
Jim and his beloved dance partner, Joan Donham moved to Steamboat
in 1981, where he taught skiing, built homes, and worked as a commercial river guide for many years. They were married in 1982.
Jim began teaching at The Lowell Whiteman School (Steamboat Mountain School) in 1988. Jim taught
a course called “Advanced Geography” which he created to be about breaking down the boundaries we tend to arbitrarily put up between people, places and things. We’re all in this together, he would teach. He would practice this by refraining from criticism
of others. Jim was a lover of river trips, the wild,
skiing, animals, and people of all persuasions. He could find love and kind words for most anyone
and so he was much loved.
Out of the classroom was where Jim made his deepest connection
with his students. Jim was the lead on multiple foreign trips. He had a capacity to think broadly
about what most of us would consider the “differences” between us. He was a professional educator who believed and practiced that knowledge/wisdom is so much more than book learning.
Jim was a dedicated member/leader of Routt County Search and Rescue. He saved lives. Jim could rescue any
of us from a down day with that smile and sincere inquiry about our well being.
We are so grateful for his time with all of us.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to:
The Yampa Valley Parkinson’s Support Group
1550 Meadow Lane, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Contact: Marty O’Leary 406-600-8502
and The Linville Endowed Chair for Global Studies at
An outdoors Celebration of Jim Linville’s life is planned for May 8th, 2021 at 2 pm at Rita and Jamie’s in Steamboat. For further information please call Joe Carney at 970-819-4499 Shuttle will be available and is encouraged. Masks are mandatory.
join us in this celebration of Jim.
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