JOHN E. LINTON
John E. Linton died Friday, February 12th, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri, of complications from a stroke he suffered January 10th. His wife Helen was by his side when he passed peacefully. John was a true Renaissance man, not just possessing facts and information about a diverse range of topics, which he did. He also was a man who had genuine competence and understanding in multiple different fields that complemented one another that made him a more talented and productive person.
John applied most of his formidable skills and talents to designing, developing, and delivering banking software systems. His systems provided small and mid-sized community banks with easy access, functionality and customer information integration much better than what the large national banks were experiencing with their legacy software systems. From the 1970’s through the early 2000’s he delivered four different banking software systems on four different evolving computer hardware platforms. All four systems under John’s directions were completed on time and on budget, which was unprecedented in that era.
During that time John was also building a wonderful life with the woman who would become his wife, Helen Hefner. First in a long-distance relationship when they were both bankers in West Virginia. Then they moved to Monett, Missouri, where John developed a software system for Jack Henry & Associates. They also developed a group of friends, mostly “expatriates” (drawn to Monett to work for Jack Henry), some of whom remained life-long friends. John and Helen further expanded their group of friends when they moved to Kansas City in 1989, where they lived until John died.
Never an “All work, No play” person, John did better than most of us in completely shutting off communication from the business worlds we left behind during our vacations. Our travels nearly always involved wineries and wine tastings. At home in Kansas City John’s Renaissance man came out. He and Helen attended a wide spectrum of performances throughout the city. And they arranged spectacular events for friends—going to an observatory, taking an architectural tour of the city, viewing the solar eclipse. After retirement John and Helen ventured even further afield—circling Scandinavia on a ferry to see the northern lights and visiting Antarctica. In all, they traveled to all seven continents. John also was a lifelong learner at home; he took dozens of The Great Courses while on his treadmill.
John Linton was born April 12, 1942 in Summit, Arkansas. He joined the US Air Force out of high school, serving on the Distance Early Warning line in Alaska during the Cold War. Then John attended the University of Arkansas, graduating with a degree in physics.
John began his business career in Arkansas at the Bank of Yellville where he learned banking and got his first introduction to the rudimentary banking software system, and promptly began figuring out ways to improve it. One of John’s most memorable banking accomplishments was helping Forrest L. Wood of Flippin, Arkansas obtain a bank loan to rebuild his Ranger Boat factory that had been destroyed by a fire. The loan decision hinged on value of the collateral; John was quite “generous” in assigning value to the fiberglass molds that survived the fire out back of the facility—probably significantly changing or at least accelerating the bass fishing industry.
John married Helen Hefner on November 1, 1991. John is survived by Helen, grandson Ronan Brown and son-in-law Jeff Strobl. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Linton and Vivian Cheever, one brother, Robert Linton and two daughters, Robin Strobl and Deborah Springer, whom he adopted from a previous marriage.
John Linton was the smartest man I have had the pleasure of knowing, and what a pleasure it was.
In accordance with John’s wishes, there will be no services.