Family, colleagues remember Linton

Jul. 11, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Friends and family are mourning the loss of former High Point City Councilman John Linton.
Linton, 80, died Tuesday.
“My dad was very positive, very inspirational,” said Liz Leon, Linton’s daughter. “He liked to see the best in people.”
Another of his daughters, Laura Price, said she remembers his determination.
“He always believed, and he never quit learning,” she said.
Originally from Rockingham, Linton studied art at what is now Virginia Commonwealth University. Shortly after college, he had a stroke which extremely limited the mobility of the right half of his body. This prevented him from pursuing a career in art, but didn’t stop him from learning to create with his left hand, said brother Sid Linton.
His local projects included a large drawing of the Lake Street Bridge, which was torn down in 1977, and a 1998 rainforest-themed mural in the old Union Hill Elementary School, which was demolished nine years later.
He had a career in advertising and was The High Point Enterprise’s national advertising manager in the 1970s.
He also had a strong desire to serve in the military, but his limited mobility prevented him from doing so.
“He was a fundamentally good person who believed he had been blessed by this country,” said Sid Linton.
Price said her father ran for City Council in part because of his unfilled desire to serve the country. He represented Ward 3 from 2003 to 2005.
“John had the heart of a servant,” said former High Point City Councilman Latimer Alexander, who served with Linton. “He would call me and say, ‘Let’s drive around Ward 3 and see what needs to be done.’”
One of the projects in which Linton was instrumental, Alexander said, was the hiring of a lobbying firm to help secure grants, an effort that has resulted in tens of millions of dollars for the city since 2004.
“He looked at his service on the council as being part of a team,” said Bill Bencini, who represented Ward 4 on the council at the time. “Whenever we got into hotly debated issues, he had a calming effect on us.”
Family members said his contributions to the council were a result of his generous spirit.
“He believed in helping other people and helping the community,” Sid Linton said.
Funeral arrangements are being made through Sechrest Funeral Home and will be announced Friday.