Bill Linhart was a special person. His death yesterday ended a sad story involving cancer in its ugliest form.

            Bill grew up in Waverly. Played basketball at the College of Emporia where he was an amazing shooter. I remember a 44 point game before there were 3 pointers!

            He coached several places including Hartford before coming to Emporia High where in his final year led the Spartans to a second place finish in 6A State.

            Billy was also an excellent teacher of government and history at EHS where he retired a few years ago.

            Bill added refereeing to his work list and became one of the best basketball officials anywhere. He moved from high school to college and was being begged to keep blowing his whistle into his seventies!

            This is where Bill Linhart's story becomes unreal.

            A little over a year ago he was calling a championship college game in Wichita when he did a couple of unusual things on the court. They stopped play and determined Bill needed help.

            After being checked over he even drove himself home. In the few days, it was discovered Billy had a brain tumor. He had surgery and an optimistic prognosis but a few months ago the tumor was back with no solution.

            Many knew Bill as he had worked at the Emporia Golf Course and recently at the Country Club. His energy level was epic. While painting my house I observed him run up the ladder.

            Bill is survived by his wife Sharon and 2 daughters.

            I would be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of Mike Turnbull and Kirby Smith as well.

            Mike was well known for his love of the Emporia community.

            Kirby and I go way back to Kid's Wrestling and the Jaycees. Kirby was a doer and his work for Habitat For Humanity is legendary.

            Don't know if there is a carpool to heaven but Emporia just sent 3 good additions.

            Rest in peace gentlemen.


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