Ralph Stratton Linhoff, age 87, passed away in his Balboa Peninsula home on January 8, 2014, where he had lived since 1953. He served as a board member of the Peninsula Point Association for several years.
Ralph was born on June 5th, 1926 in Long Beach, CA to Harold and Alta Linhoff, and was raised in San Marino, CA. After serving as a radioman in the Navy during WWII, he attended Pasadena City College and earned his B.S. from University of Southern California.
Ralph’s love of the ocean led him to join the Balboa Yacht Club in 1951, where he remained a member until his death. During his early years following college, Ralph built his own Star and Thistle class sailboats and raced against a number of top sailors throughout Southern California. In more recent years he enjoyed racing his Twitchell in Balboa Yacht Club regattas. Ralph was a long-time member of the Balboa Angling Club as well. He built his own 28’ flybridge sport fishing boat, “Varuna”, and spent many summers with his family fishing the waters off Catalina for marlin and other game fish.
Ralph worked in the dairy industry managing various companies, including Eskimo Pie Corporation. He was actively involved in both the Gaming Gentlemen’ Society and the Yellow Dog Society, two dairy-industry organizations, where he held a number of leadership positions.
Ralph was an avid golfer, and would walk the courses unless rules forced the use of a golf cart. Although he never scored a hole-in-one, he captured numerous awards for the longest drive in a tournament. He was a skilled craftsman and woodworker. He devoted time to many types of projects, including building model airplanes, making custom fishing rods and lures, and building furniture. One of his favorite pastimes was working on boats, particularly the Varuna, which is moored in Newport Harbor.
Ralph is survived by his wife Elaine Linhoff, his two children Gregg (Michelle) Linhoff of Oceanside, CA, and Karen (Rich) Luttrell of Irvine, CA, as well as 5 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased his sister Janet Winget of Murrieta, CA who passed away in 2013.
The family asks that any donations be directed to The Catalina Island Conservancy (www.catalinaconservancy.org; mailing address P.O. Box 2739, Avalon, CA 90704) or BYC Maritime Sciences and Seamanship Foundation (www.bycmssf.org; mailing address 1851 East First Street, Suite #900, Santa Ana, CA 92705.)