Monday, May 14, 2012

RIP: Dr. Wil Linkugel

Wil Linkugel's obituary from the Lawrence Journal-World, May 11, 2012:
Memorial services for Wilmer Albert Linkugel, 83, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS. Burial will follow at Pioneer Cemetery. He died on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at his home. Wilmer was born on January 12, 1929 in Bremen, KS the son of Otto and Louise (Knabe) Linkugel. He attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church school thru eighth grade, graduated from Marysville High School in 1947, received his B.A. in 1953 and M.A. in 1954 from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin. He taught for four years in a one-room country schoolhouse, two years from 1954-1956 at North Platte High School, in North Platte, NE, and then taught at the University of Kansas as an Speech & Communication Professor for 42 years from 1956 - 1999. He was a member of the Speech Communication Association and received two awards for excellence in teaching. A member of Central States Communication Association and was inaugural inductee to Central States Communication Association Hall of Fame and Kansas Speech Association and received the Outstanding College Speech Teacher Award. He was also a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center and was President of the congregation and served as Elder many times. He was married to Helen Motyka on June 21, 1958 in Utica, NY. She survives of the home. Other survivors include two daughters, LeAnn Linkugel Ward, Lawrence, Kristin Linkugel, Rio Rancho, New Mexico; one brother Harold Linkugel, Bremen, KS. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. The family suggests memorials in his name to the KU Endowment Communication Studies Department and may be sent in care of the mortuary. Online condolences may be sent to
The last time I recall seeing Dr. Linkugel was the final week of September, 1993.  Late that summer, George Brett announced that he was retiring from major league baseball. I immediately called the KC Royals ticket office and reserved 6 tickets for the last home stand. My wife and I took our then 6-week baby on her first plane flight and were met by Donn Parson, Wil Linkugel and Robin Rowland.In my memory, Brett had a hit and KC won, so I think it was the game on the 29th.

Linkugel was a huge fan of baseball and told me that night of his planned book about phenoms who had surprisingly short careers. In 1998, McFarland published  They Tasted Glory, which includes chapters about Tony Conigliaro, Mark Fidrych, Lyman Bostock, J.R. Richard, Steve Busby, and Thurman Munson, among others.

I'm going to find a copy soon.

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