Selected Obituaries

Karl Linn -- landscape architect devoted to social justice, Patrick Hoge, S.F. Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 8, 2005


Karl Linn, 81; Gave Up Landscape Design for Community Gardens
February 16, 2005|Mary Rourke | L.A.Times Staff Writer


"Karl Linn, Architect of Urban Landscapes, Dies at 81," Margalit Fox, New York Times, Sunday, February 13, 2005 

"Berkeley Gardener Leaves Rich Legacy," Matthew Artz, Berkeley Daily Planet, February 4-6 weekend edition  



Tributes to Karl after His Death in 2005

"Karl Linn was a man of action and a teacher. He had an unsurpassed commitment to building environmentally healthy and beautiful communities, to realizing human potential in all of its facets, and to achieving a just society. For these goals he remained extraordinarily steadfast and purposeful. He will be remembered as a man who left a deep and lasting mark both on the land and its people…. Karl made things happen."

--Linda Maio, Berkeley City Council Member


"A gentle light has changed form and moved on. The light still shines over the Peralta and Karl Linn Community Gardens, over the Ecology and Green and Native American communities, the community of Berkeley, and over peace in the Middle East. Karl expected the best from all of us and left a profound impact. In addition to all of this, he committed himself and his friends to documenting the history of Berkeley through art and history installations along the Ohlone Greenway and worked closely with the Berkeley Historical Society. It was an honor and an inspiration to know and love him."
--Linda Rosen, Berkeley Historical Society


"Karl faced the adversity and challenge of life and death with grace and spirit. I am one of those fortunate to have known him briefly and will see the night stars shining a littler brighter for his presence. He will be dearly missed here."
--Janeen Antoine, Native American art consultant and radio host


"Karl enjoyed promoting cultural awareness and enhancing community engagement on many levels. His work is a testament to the possibilities of Public Art Projects when they include historic, artistic, educational, and humanitarian aspects. He enjoyed specifically recognizing and involving all people who were related in any way to the projects he was working on. Their lives were then enriched by the beauty, art, and appreciation of living things within the community. He made a particularly dedicated effort to include the California Native American community in his last project on the Ohlone Greenway."
--Lori Taguma, Berkeley Art Commissioner


"Mr. Linn was awesome, and beautiful, and a true inspiration! I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to shake his hand, work with him, learn and build things through his work with the City of Berkeley and the Parks Minigrant program and community gardens program. I learned much from Mr. Linn and he leaves behind a lasting and rich imprint in our world and communities. I want to dedicate my future work efforts to try to represent his thinking, passion and ideologies. I am grateful he has touched so many people, because it will take those and many more to match his service."
--Brad Ricards, City of Berkeley Landscape Architect


"I remember Karl's wonderful warmth and support towards us during a very difficult neighborhood development battle. He and Carl Anthony ended up writing a beautiful piece called "Let the Healing Begin," that urged a compassionate, ecologically-driven approach to resolving the battle, to try and draw people towards a more peaceful solution. It highlighted to me how much Karl wanted communities to work together, to draw on each other's strengths, and to protect and restore the natural world around us.... He was an amazing man.... How lucky we all were to have had him around us."
--Juliet Lamont and Phil Price, Live Oak Codornices Creek Neighborhood Association


"Karl was a victim of the Nazi regime but he has liberated himself in a way I haven't seen before. He was free of nationalism, free of cynicism, fully open to the humane, the pain and the good in each person. Like the peace pole he planted, Karl was a symbol of humanity, a symbol of hope, a possibility of healing and reconciliation. In these days of shattered dreams, Karl's departure is a huge loss. But his work -- his gardens and the seeds he planted in my heart, as well as many other hearts - will stay with us".
--Dudy Tzfati, Israeli scientist, East Bay Dialogue group

"He packed more living and light into one life than a dozen ordinary people could together."
--Leila Abu-Saba MacLeod, East Bay Dialogue group


"Karl Linn -- a gentle a good man, wise with his smile -- always alive, always working on something new, better, more human. As I hear of his passing.... [I] feel a giant hole in my life. I liked coming to the North Berkeley Community Garden he helped catalyze and create with his friends and neighbors, or more properly put, his neighbors who became friends as the place grew as a community. Now I walk with him again, this time he is on the other side, but he is still here, of course, and I walk with him again, in my minds eye.... Karl Linn, presente!"
--Daniel del Solar, media activist


"His vitality and passion for his work and life made it seem as though he would defy the inevitable for a good long time. All things considered I guess he did. We were so lucky to have had his great spirit, good will and steady voice always ready to lead the way to a more humane and just world."
--Michael O'Leary, New Zealand


"Karl was my life teacher, my friend and now I am determined to work for the ideals he showed me so that the seeds of Love and Peace will continue to grow in his Living Garden."
--Troy West, Rhode Island



"We have lost a fervent seeker of, and crusader for, the humane in our world."
--Rachel Seidel, Boston




"Building Commons and Community"

New Village Press