Linton remembered for love of life

Published 2:35 am Friday, August 29, 2003

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Vigilant/Argus
The first words out of the mouths of most when they talk about Steve Linton's untimely death is one of shock.
The second words are that he was a guy who loved life and was a lot of fun to be around.
While most are still coming to grips with the loss of Linton to a plane crash Saturday night in Juno Lake near Edwardsburg, many have nothing but fond memories of the late Cassopolis Rangers wrestling coach.
Cassopolis athletic director Vance Stratton, who not only was Linton's assistant wrestling coach for several years, but was a close friend, said that there is no comparison between the loss of Linton as a person compared to a wrestling coach.
Stratton was Linton's assistant for several years after he took over the Ranger wrestling program in 1998. Stratton got out of coaching after his son graduated, but Linton continued on.
According to Dowagiac wrestling coach Chuck Rubino, Linton had talked about getting out of coaching soon.
Ranger wrestling coach Pete Anderson remembers that he liked to have fun and tried to get Anderson to take a ride with him.
Former Ranger wrestler James Edwards, who wrestled for Linton as a freshman and a sophomore, remembrs that he had a playful personality.
Edwards said he was hurt by the news of Linton's death, but recalled that even though he had transferred to Niles, Linton still kept track of his progress as a wrestler.
Edwards' mother, Tracy Haines said that Linton was a joy to be around.
Marine Division divers recovered Linton's body from the wreckage of a yellow-and-white Cessna 140 at approximately 10:45 p.m. after the crash about 8:30 p.m. Aug. 23.
The southbound plane clipped power lines which cross the channel beween Juno and Painter lakes and crashed in approximately 20 feet of water just east of Camp Wildwood, disrupting power to the campground.
There were no other passengers in the plane at the time of the crash. The plane had been observed flying low across the lake Saturday afternoon with a red ultralight aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources were on the scene Sunday morning to assist the Sheriff's Office with the continuing investigation.