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Norman Knight Linton ’58

March 3, 3023, after a long illness.

Norman was born in 1936 in Port Angeles, Washington, to Fred Linton and Ruby Oliva Linton, both first-generation immigrants from Norway and Switzerland/France. Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, Norman fished, hunted, camped, and hiked from a young age. As a youngster, he also worked on Olympic National Park trail crews and purse seine salmon fishing boats in southeast Alaska.

After graduating from Roosevelt High School in Port Angeles, he completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Reed and wrote his thesis “Conflict and the Disruption of Interpersonal Relationships in Groups of Differing Size,” with Prof. Howard Jolly [sociology 1949–70] advising. From Portland he moved to San Francisco and began a PhD program in sociology while intermittently and proudly working for the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union in San Francisco. This work experience, along with his father’s longtime union association, fed Norman’s life-long interest in labor issues and working people.

He completed a PhD at UC Berkeley and was an assistant professor of law and sociology at the University of Denver Law School, followed by a position at the University of Colorado, where he received tenure. In 1973, he moved to Durango to chair and teach in Fort Lewis College’s sociology department, working there until his retirement in 1993.

In 1973, Norman married Evelyn Uttecht and became stepfather to Evelyn’s son Marcus. A daughter, Sarah Jean Linton, was born in 1974. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1992, he married Susan Moss, also a professor at Fort Lewis College. She ignored advice not to hike with such an intrepid walker, and together they enjoyed years of camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Baja California, and Costa Rica.

Norman was predeceased by his stepson Marcus Uttecht; his former wife, Evelyn Uttecht; and both of his parents. He is survived by his wife, Susan Moss; his daughter, Sarah Linton; and his stepson Luther Moss.

Appeared in Reed magazine: Fall 2023

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