John Gourlay Linton passed away peacefully in his home Sunday, February 26, 2023.
John is survived by his beloved wife Mila, his brother Richard Linton and his children John (Jennifer) Linton, Andrew (Kelly) Linton , Thomas (Joy) Linton, Sarah Sherwood, James Linton, ElmaLee (Jeff) Kirk, Charles (Marriah) Linton, and his twenty-one grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents Edward and Sarah Linton; son Edward West Linton; grandson Eden Henri Linton.
John was born on March 19th, 1944 in the town of Niagara Falls, NY. From a young age, John had an innate desire to do good. His natural ability to love everybody was felt by his family, friends and community. After graduating high school, John and his dear friend Steve drove across the country to live in California. It was there that John joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and solidified his resolve to serve the Lord and his fellow man. John decided to serve as a missionary for the church and was called to the “Southwest Indian Mission.” Here is an excerpt from John’s journal:
“In May 1966, I was serving as a missionary in the Southwest Indian Mission. I was preparing to go home and was greatly troubled. As the only member of my family that belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, I didn’t know if my family would accept my religious faith or even me. The United States was at war in Vietnam and I knew there was a good chance I would be drafted into the army immediately after my missionary service was over. The uncertainty of my future frightened me.
Elder Spencer W. Kimball, who at the time was an apostle, was visiting the mission home in Holbrook, Arizona. One afternoon I found myself behind the mission home with Elder Kimball in the garden. We began to talk and I told him of my concerns. He listened intently when looking at me and replied, ‘You are one of the Lord’s boys, and the Lord takes care of his boys.’ Needless to say I was comforted and those words sunk deep into my heart.
During the course of my life, I have often reflected upon Elder Kimball’s promise. It gave me courage serving as a soldier thousands of miles away from home. Many times in my life when I have felt overwhelmed by life’s problems, it was the assurance from a prophet of the Lord that I was one of the Lord’s boys that has enabled me to go forward.
Many years later I received a telephone call that Spencer W. Kimball, who at that time was the prophet and president of the church, was at the Mesa, Arizona temple. I left work and went immediately to the temple so I could see him. There on the steps of the temple, I told the Prophet that he probably didn’t remember me, reminded him of our first meeting & testified to him that his promise has sustained me through many hard times. I will never forget what President Kimball did next. He took both of my hands into his, looked deep into my eyes and said, ‘You look sweet and clean.’”
John Linton was uniquely good and kind. He had a genuine love for everybody he came into contact with. To be in his presence was a gift to all who knew him.
Funeral services will be Friday, March 3rd, 2023, with a private family viewing at 9:00 A.M. and funeral service at 10:00 A.M. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, 933 E. Brown Road Mesa, AZ 85203.
Graveside service will be held at 12:00PM at City of Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St. Mesa, AZ 85201.