2011 Distinguished Alumnus- Thomas H. Linck: Class of 1950

The Ravenna Community Educational Foundation has selected Thomas H. Linck to be the first recipient of their Distinguished Alumni Award. A presentation will be made at the annual Taste of Ravenna event October 20 at Moss Ridge Banquet Center.

Tom is a 1950 graduate of RHS, playing 4 years of basketball and baseball and when football was brought back in 1949 after being suspended during WWII, Tom was the quarterback on Ravenna’s 7-1 team that won the Newaygo County Athletic Association championship.

Tom attended college at St. Norbert’s in DePere, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Western Michigan University where he was class president his senior year. He was in ROTC during his college years and served in the U.S. Army after college. Tom then earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Marquette University law school, passing the bar exam in 1959. He returned to Muskegon and worked in the prosecutor’s office for 2 years before joining his older brother Leo’s law practice.

He married Pat Harrington in 1963 and the couple had 6 children. In 1975 he was appointed by Governor William Milliken to replace Probate Judge Cavanough, then ran unopposed for several terms. In 1989 he became president of the Michigan Probate Judges Association, only the 2nd judge from Muskegon to hold that post since Muskegon became a county in 1859. Tom also served on the State Judicial Council that advises the Michigan Supreme Court on operation of the lower court system. He held the title of Chief Judge of the Muskegon County Court system for many years. He retired in 1996 after 21 years in Probate Court.

Tom is an active member of the Serra Club, a Catholic men’s organization having served as president, is active in “Right to Life”, was a board member on the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District and served as president. He was also chairman of the United Way, a Red Cross volunteer and a prolific blood donor.

He will receive the Distinguished Alumni award October 20 at the RCEF Taste of Ravenna event held at Moss Ridge Banquet Center, 6:30-9:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available from RCEF trustees Ken Punter, Marty Heiss, Denny Emery, Ken Patterson Sr., Brenda Jacobs, Dee Swanson, Michelle Straley, Brandy Bueche, Mike Pierson and Karen Barker.