Posted on: February 1, 2023
George Edward Linney, Jr, 79, died of complications related to Parkinson’s Disease on December 22, 2022, at his new home in Charlottesville, Virginia. George was born in Washington, Georgia, the son of Sarah Johnson Linney and George Edward Linney.
He graduated from Furman University in 1965 and then returned to his parents’ home in Augusta to attend the Medical College of Georgia. He did his pediatric residency at the University of Virginia where he met his beloved wife Barbara on a blind date, and they married in the UVA chapel six months later.
He practiced pediatrics at the Nalle Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 11 years and then moved to Florida to become the Medical Director for one of the first HMOs in Orlando. He served as President of the Board of the American College of Physician Executives (now the American Association for Physician Leadership) and was instrumental in designing the Certified Physician Executive credential with Barbara, the College’s Vice President of Career Development at the time. The last years of his career he performed executive searches, interim leadership, and executive advisory services for Tyler & Company. George believed in quality healthcare for all people and helping physicians learn the leadership skills they weren’t taught in medical school.
He loved golf and played every chance he got. He became a scorekeeper for the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, while he was in medical school and relished that privilege for 50 years. He could take one guest, which was Barbara for 11 years until they moved to Florida, and then he alternated taking his children who now take their family and friends to experience “a tradition unlike any other.”
George ran nine marathons in the 80s and 90s and his best races were when Barbara met him every five miles for half a cup of beer and encouragement. He enjoyed traveling throughout his career and loved teaching physician leaders with Barbara. At the end of every work trip or vacation, George would be thinking about his next destination and would often ask people, “Where are you going next?”
When the children finished at Winter Park High School in Florida, Barbara and George moved back to Charlotte. George was Chair of the Board of Deacons at Myers Park Baptist Church and added his beautiful baritone voice to the congregational singing every Sunday he was in town for the next 27 years. He once made a list of all the hymns he could sing (all verses) without music and counted more than 300; Blessed Assurance was his favorite.
George was devoted to all things Furman. He was honored to serve as President of the Alumni Association and received the Alumni Service Award in 2004.
George adored the Atlanta Braves, the Carolina Panthers, any golf tournament on television, and all University of Virginia sports teams. He was especially happy that the UVA Men’s Basketball Team won their first national championship in 2019 and that the Atlanta Braves finally won the World Series again in 2021. He knew details about every player’s background and thought of them as friends and teammates.
George and Barbara moved back to Charlottesville in May 2022 to the city they loved and to be near their daughter, Allison. He told people he was glad they returned to the place where once upon a time their story started. He had four cheerful months in their new home before his health declined.
George loved all holidays and especially Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and everyone’s birthday. He thoroughly enjoyed his last Thanksgiving dinner with his wife, children, and grandchildren. On Thursday, November 24, George could both sing and call out the names of the Motown songs his son played for him and retell the story of when he was called up on the stage to sing with the backup singers for Aretha Franklin in Atlanta’s Underground in the late 60s.
George is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara Johnson Linney, his daughter Allison Sims Linney, his son George Edward Linney, III (Kristen Nevins) and his grandchildren, George Edward Linney, IV, Kathryn Nevins Linney, and William Nevins Linney, and his sister, Lloyd Dubose Linney and her family.
The family expresses its deep gratitude to those who provided love and support as George neared the end of his life, especially his PCP nurse practitioner, Sue Kiley, Commonwise Home Care, and Hospice of the Piedmont.