Gordon F. Linke ’50, P’80

Gordon F. Linke ’50, P’80 died on March 24, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland.

(The following appeared in the Tribute Archive on March 24, 2020)

Gordon Fitzgerald Linke, a native Washingtonian born October, 23, 1928, at Columbia Hospital for Women, died peacefully of heart failure at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 24, 2020.

Gordon is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Jocelyn Beausire Allan Linke of Bethesda, MD; half-brother Winthrop Smith, Jr. of Warren, VT; four children – Gordon and wife, PK, of San Francisco, CA; Allan and wife, Eileen, of Ridgefield, CT; Scott and wife, Debbie, of Ridgefield, CT, and Lyn Witt and husband, Rich, of Bethesda, MD; and nine grandchildren – Trey Linke, Allan Linke, Sean Linke, Jack Linke, Kurt Linke, Erika Linke, Colin Witt, Gena Witt and Jessica Witt.

A 1946 graduate of St Albans School in Washington, DC, where he played basketball, baseball, and football and was a member of the renown St Albans Boys Choir, Gordon matriculated to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, graduating as a member of the class of 1950. After college, he served our nation during the Korean War as a member of the United States Marine Corps attaining the rank of captain and proudly lived the rest of his life as “once a Marine, always a Marine.”

In the early 50s, Gordon joined Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith in New York as a trainee, the beginning of a long and distinguished forty-year career—and a time when he met and married Jocelyn Allan of New York. Rising to senior vice president of the global financial services firm, Gordon specialized in opening and managing Merrill offices in the New York City and Washington, DC, areas. After retiring from Merrill in the 90s, he served as a national arbiter for FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).

Gordon, along with his wife, Jocelyn, was an active philanthropist locally and nationally with a strong focus on the arts and education. Among the many beneficiaries of his generosity are The Kennedy Center; Hillwood Museum, where Jocelyn currently serves on the board and as treasurer, and Rosemount Center. He supported capital campaigns at Norwood School, Avon Old Farms and Schools of the Sacred Heart, and provided scholarships at his St. Albans and Bowdoin alma maters.

Gordon served on numerous boards over the years, including Norwood School and Avon Old Farms School; and he was a member of Chevy Chase Club and the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC. In retirement, he and Jocelyn had a passion for travel, with two sub-Saharan African safaris being their favorites.

Shortly after his 90th birthday celebration in October of 2018, his granddaughter Erika Linke sat with Gordon for an audio interview about his life. Her final question was “What advice would you want to leave me with?” Her grandfather replied, “The most important thing is if whatever you are doing is worthwhile, do not quit and give it everything you got.”

1 Comment Gordon F. Linke ’50, P’80

  1. Mark Friese

    I sat next to Gordon for a period of time at Merrill Lynch. It was the beginning of my career and I had endless questions. Gordon was always thoughtful and generous with his time and willing to help. I’m now entering my 33rd year with Merrill Lynch and I have many people to thank that helped me along the way, Gordon was one of them.

    Mark Friese

    Reply

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