October 14, 1938 – July 12, 2020
Linn Maynard Stordahl, 81, Montana native, longtime Washington and Oregon resident, passed away July 12, at home in Vista, California in the arms of his loving family from complications related to asbestosis diagnosed in 2007.
His early life established a love of the West especially the natural world, the outdoors—hunting, fly fishing, hiking, and skiing—and the literature of the region of which he was an avid and insightful reader. He often returned to Montana and maintained connections with the Big Sky Country.
He loved Shakespeare. With his wife Emily, Linn was a regular attendee at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival when he lived in Oregon, and together they travelled to see the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
Linn brought a keen, generous mind and fine sense of humor to both his professional and personal life and maintained lasting connections with a wide range of extended family, former students, old friends, and former colleagues.
He loved teaching and learning. Even after his retirement from Linn-Benton Community College in 2006, he volunteered with AARP as an instructor for driver safety courses. He also bowled with several leagues, traveled, and enjoyed attending local college football and basketball games.
Born October 14, 1938 in Great Falls, Montana to Maynard Stordahl, a plumber, and Bernice (Robinson) Stordahl who worked at a local bank, Linn grew up with his younger sister Susan on a hard scrabble family farm outside Great Falls and was a 1956 graduate of Simms High School where he played basketball.
After graduation, Linn enlisted in the Army and served two years of active duty before earning a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Montana State University in 1962. After working as a high school teacher for several years, he earned a master’s in English from Colorado State University, the first in his family to earn an advanced degree. From 1968-1972, Linn was a PhD candidate in Curriculum & Instruction and a member of Phi Delta Kappa at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Linn took a leave from the PhD program in 1973 to manage Eisenman Seed Company in Fairfield, Montana.
After the company was acquired, Linn founded First Farm and Ranch Management in 1978, a real estate and consulting business focused on rural properties. He was deeply involved with community organizations including the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Lion’s Club, YMCA, and youth sports.
He returned to education in 1987, and he received a master’s degree in physical education: health and fitness program management from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1994. Linn spent the rest of his working life teaching about health and wellness—first at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington and then at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon.
No matter what he did, whether teaching, running a business, raising cattle, fly fishing, renovating old houses, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, or learning to bowl, he was a hard worker with high standards. He believed in thank you notes, sending cards and letters on special occasions, and thoroughly wrapping boxes. Some said he was stubborn, others said determined, but he was compassionate, smart, kind, thoughtful, supportive of his extended family and friends, and always interested and engaged with the world around him.
Linn spent the final eight months of his life surrounded by family at home in the California sunshine.
Along with his wife, Emily whom he married on May 27, 1995, his survivors include two children from his first marriage, Derek (Jody) and Darren (Kim), step-children Erik Nelson (Tamara) and Ingrid Jauss (Bob), grandchildren Lucy, Abby, Oliver, & Calvin, step-grandchildren Charlotte & Warren, sister Susan Stordahl (Lorraine), aunt Delores Rosin, niece Cheri Krogman (Steve), nephew Michael Shanks (Carla), and godson Christopher Gourley, as well as his first wife, Barbara (Eisenman) Rodriguez and extended family.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Montana at a future date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Linn's memory to the Stordahl Scholarship Fund, c/o LBCC Foundation, 6500 Pacific Blvd. S.W., Albany, Oregon 97321 or online at linnbenton.edu/give
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