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Linelle Glass

1949 - 2011, Santa Barbara

07/24/1949 - 08/11/2011

Our community lost a unique and gifted teacher and musician when Linelle Glass passed away on August 11th at her family home after a long battle with cancer.

Linelle worked for 30 years in the library at Santa Barbara Junior High School as the Teacher Librarian. She was extraordinary in her ability to learn the names of almost every student which made it practically impossible to get away with anything in the library. Her students were surprised to find out that she was a winning contestant on Jeopardy. Although Linelle was strict, the library was a welcoming, fun place to be, decorated for holidays, or with a vase of roses on the old-fashioned wood desk to welcome all.

She organized contests to educate the students about the significance of the National holidays, like Veteran’s Day. A favorite with the students was the Great Pumpkin Contest. Linelle would choose a big beauty from a local pumpkin patch. The person coming the closest without going over to guess its weight won the pumpkin to take home.

She was also an amazing Irish fiddle player and musician. Linelle grew up going to Folk dance festivals with her parents and brother Terry. She was the fiddler in the Kitchen Junket Band that played for contra dances at the Carrillo Rec Center and provided Irish Jigs and reels for the Irish Festival in Oak Park. Linelle and her friend Hilda Wenner bought the rights to The Ole Time Fiddler’s Convention from Stowe House in 2001. Together with the help of other local clubs, they continued the legacy of this wonderful community event that was founded in 1972 by Peter Feldmann. Linelle was able to play English, Mexican, Scottish, Balkan and Cajun style music on her fiddle. When SBJH 8th graders enjoyed a Civil War re-enactment day Linelle brought in a few of her musician friends and played some of the traditional songs and marching music of the era. For St. Patrick’s Day Linelle had a portable dance floor brought to the school and played for some of the students who knew how to do Irish step dancing. She was always striving to expose young people to the richness of other cultures through their music and dance.

As a child in Oakland, she remembers listening, with her family, to Martin Luther King give his “I have a Dream” speech. That speech made an indelible impression on Linelle and along with the example of her father formed her core value of serving others and putting her remarkable energy and talents into making the world a better place for the next generation. She did exactly that making a positive and lasting impression on 3 decades of young people over the course of her career. She was a tremendous mentor for youth and adults alike in how to live a good, selfless, valuable life with courage, humor and grace.

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