Tributes to educator whose formative years were spent in Larne

Dennis Linton
Dennis Linton

Dennis Linton, who passed away at the age of 81 years at his home in Grimsby, was brought up in Larne during the Second World War and was a member of a well-known and respected local family.

He was the son of Tommy and Cecilia (nee McFaul) Linton, who were married at Raloo outside Larne. They went to Yorkshire in 1936 to seek employment and were living at Ellend in February 1938 when Dennis was born.

The situation changed in September 1939 when the Second World War broke out, and it was to claim the life of his father Tommy, who was killed at El Alamein during the North African Campaign. He was a private in the 2 nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders and was killed in October 1942.

His mother Cecilia, who joined the wartime nursing corps, sent Dennis home to Larne for safety during the War and he was raised by his grandparents and then his aunt Nellie McCambridge of Quay Street in the town. The young evacuee attended school in Larne and won a scholarship to attend St. MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower.

At the age of 18 years he decided to join the Merchant Navy, which he did in Liverpool, being known affectionately as ‘Paddy’ by many of his shipmates.

At the age of 19 romance blossomed when he met Adrienne, and the pair were married in Liverpool in September 1959. They would have three children; Sharon, Andrew and Kate.

When he was 24 years old Dennis joined the police force in Liverpool and served for six years before deciding to take a degree in Maritime Studies and going on to work in a government position in Glasgow. In 1980 he successfully applied for a position as a lecturer in computer studies at Grimsby College, and he was subsequently to become head of the department.

The first house the family had in Grimsby was a terrace house in Legsby Avenue. Dennis Linton went on to teach Business Studies at Grimsby College and retired as head of the department.

Following his retirement he had an extremely active life, volunteering for the probation services and also joining Grimsby Chamber of Commerce, of which he was a past chairman. He was also a volunteer with IMPACT, a programme providing services for those with drug and alcohol problems.

At his funeral service tribute was paid to him as a man who was generous with his time in trying to help young and old alike and who was a friend to many. He was also involved in other projects over the years, including one involving collecting old computers to send out to Russia.

A strong family man, he also was a keen dog lover and an excellent cook. He had a passion for researching his family history and had got back to the 1700s, co-writing a book about Larne which included lots of information about his distant family.#

A close family friend, Brian Green, delivered a eulogy at the funeral service, reflecting that he had first met Dennis Linton when they were both lecturers in Grimsby College of Technology Business Studies department 40 years before. He paid tribute to the role Mr. Linton played within the college, both in terms of leading on curriculum issues and providing social support for students.

“He was a ‘Mr. Fixit’ and his reputation grew over the years as a person to turn to when difficulties were encountered and project management skills were required,” he said.

Dennis Linton never lost either his Ulster accent or his love of Larne and always kept in touch with local family members over the years.

He passed away on July 13 at St. Margaret’s Care Home in Grimsby and a service to celebrate his life was held in Grimsby Crematorium on July 26. Donations in lieu of flowers were encouraged to Marie Curie Cancer Care, c/o Near & Near Undertakers, David Street, Grimsby, DN32 9NN.

Dennis Linton is survived by his beloved wife Adrienne, daughters Sharon and Kate, son Andrew, son-in-law Roger, daughter-in-law Kate and grandchildren Emily, Eloise, Eve, Cecilia and Sophie and great-grandchildren Noah and Aiyana. He is survived too, by his sister Bernie and brother Kevin.