Robert "Bob" Linck, a veteran teacher and coach at Sacramento High School who was a California State Fair seasonal worker for about 60 years, died Nov. 21 at 90, his family said.
Mr. Linck was a fixture in the local sports community. He graduated from Sacramento High School in 1940 as a top basketball and baseball player and went to University of Idaho on a sports scholarship after World War II. He taught at the university's campus in Coeur d'Alene and coached minor league baseball in Canada before returning to Sacramento in 1955.
He taught math and science and coached championship baseball and basketball teams at Sacramento High School for 28 years. He retired in 1983 but was a substitute teacher for several years.
Mr. Linck was also a familiar figure as a seasonal worker at the annual State Fair since 1939. Although his duties ranged from working the paddock to pruning the gardens, he was best known as a security guard on the graveyard shift for many years before he retired in 2006.
Except for years fighting in World War II and studying and coaching in Idaho, he was a steady presence for generations of fairgoers. He enjoyed telling stories about the old fairgrounds at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard, where he saw baseball great Joe DiMaggio cut the ribbon on opening day and met entertainers Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Billy Barty and Nat King Cole.
"He knew a lot of people he saw at the fair because they were either his students or people he grew up with," said his son Robert Linck II. "Everybody called him 'Coach.' "
Born Dec. 22, 1921, in Rodeo, Robert Oliver Linck moved as a boy with his family to Sacramento. His mother, Clementina, was a widow who raised three sons during the Great Depression.
He attended Sacramento City College and served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific during World War II. He graduated and earned a master's degree at University of Idaho, where he met his wife of 64 years, Joan. He lived in Elk Grove since 1955.
Mr. Linck was inducted into the La Salle Club and Sacramento City College basketball halls of fame. He belonged to veterans groups, the Theatrical Employees Union and the California Teachers Association.
Besides his wife, survivors include his children Robert Linck II, Kristine Linck, Richard Linck and Kelley Linck, all of Elk Grove; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. No services are planned.