David R. Linkchorst, 92, passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
He was born in Ashland to the late Howard and Thomasine (Adamson) Linkchorst.
He was raised in Maple Hill and later Frackville.
Dave attended Mahanoy Township High School, Class of ‘46, where he played
football, basketball and baseball. He was a member of the 1944-45 North Schuylkill
League Basketball Championship team. The Purple Larks went 21-2, losing only to
the eventual Class A and Class B State Champions.
Dave spent almost two years in the United States Army before starting his college career,
attending Bloomsburg State Teachers College on the GI Bill. He graduated in 1953
having played four years of football and basketball and three seasons of baseball.
He earned 11 varsity letters. He was a teammate of NBA Hall of Famer, Chuck Daly.
He started for the Huskies on the 1948 (cornerback) and 1951 (quarterback)
undefeated football teams.
Dave met the love of his life, Mary Lou, at Bloomsburg. She was a cheerleader in
Dave’s last two seasons. They would marry in 1956.
Having graduated but expecting to play his fourth year of baseball at Bloom, Dave
received an offer to tour the world as a member of the Boston Whirlwinds, a
barnstorming team that played against the Harlem Globetrotters. Mahanoy City’s
own George Senesky, a member of the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors at the time,
arranged Dave’s tryout with the Whirlwinds.
Hardly a team of pushovers, his teammates included Bill Spivey, a First Team All
American from the University of Kentucky, and Clarence “Bevo” Francis a record
setting scorer from Rio Grande College.
He also played one season of Minor League Baseball in the Philadelphia Athletics
organization and toured with the House of David.
In 1955, Dave received a call from the Superintendent of Schools at Mahanoy
Township School District who offered him a job as teacher and coach. He left his job
as a lifeguard at the Jersey shore to begin a long career in education.
Dave coached basketball and football at Mahanoy Township High School and after
the jointure of Mahanoy Township and Mahanoy City, Mahanoy Area High School.
His teams won 9 Schuylkill League Basketball Championships and the 1965 District
11 Class A Tournament. He had the privilege to coach players such as Stan
Wlodarczyk, Joe Alansky, Bill Pilconis, and brothers Mickey and Dave Holland along
with so many others whom he greatly admired. The 1964-65 team led by
Wlodarczyk reached the semi-finals of the PIAA Class A State Tournament.
He was coach of the professional basketball team, Hazleton/Hamburg Bullets, of the
Eastern Basketball Association for the '72-'73 season.
His recollection of games was incredible, and he always enjoyed running into his
former players. Dave always had great stories to tell, and one of his favorites was
meeting Joe DiMaggio, who was on a tour of the troops in Japan.
A skilled golfer, he won many tournaments including 8 Schuylkill County Amateurs.
He loved the “County Commissioners” tournament and participated for 50
consecutive years. In his final “County,” he aced the 17th hole at Hidden Valley.
Dave recorded 10 holes in-one over his lifetime. He also won numerous partner
tournaments with Jim Bohrman. Many people at initially White Birch Golf Course,
then Mountain Valley Golf Course could attest to Dave’s dedication to practice.
In retirement, he enjoyed attending football and basketball games at his beloved
Bloomsburg University where the Administration and Athletic Department treated
him like royalty. Dave and his wife attended many alumni events, especially
homecoming weekend, over the years to catch up with lifelong friends and former
Dave was inducted into the Bloomsburg University Athletic Hall of Fame, the
Jerry Wolman Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Northeast
Region of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
As much as he loved sports, family was most important to him. He looked forward
to visits from his children and grandchildren. Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday,
as the entire family would gather.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Thomasine, brother
William, and son Douglas.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Louise, Barnesville, son David (Mary) Reading, PA,
daughter Nancy Skurko (Michael) Valencia, PA, daughter Joanne Kinder (Stan)
Haymarket, VA, and son Richard (Bette) Glen Mills, PA.
He was the proud grandfather to Michael, Jaclyn, Jake and Nick, great grandfather to
Maxwell and Natalie, and uncle to several nieces and nephews.
At the request of the family, services are private but a public remembrance may be held
in the future. Kindly omit flowers. If desired, athletic memorial contributions in Dave’s
memory may be made to the Bloomsburg University Foundation, 50 East Main Street,
4th Floor, Greenly Center, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 or online at giving.bloomu.edu
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