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In Memoriam ~ Roger Linnemann ’49

Roger Linnemann, MD ’49


Father of Thomas ’70, Kathryn, Roger Jr. Kurt, Nickolas ’84

Born in St. Joseph, MN January 12, 1931, he passed quietly at home on May 29, 2023. Roger is survived by his wife Heidi Hayford Bell and five children: Thomas Linnemann, Kathryn Bracke (Kip), Roger E., Jr. (Chip), Kurt, Nickolas, as well as 3 step-children: Jhanna Bell Tucker, Jennifer Bell Allen and Michelle Bell. In addition he is survived by 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

His education included St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, where he received his undergraduate degree and then earned his Medical Degree in 1956. While attending medical school, he joined the US Army Medical Corp where he was commissioned a Captain. He served as a Battalion Surgeon in Germany for 3 1/2 years. He then returned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to do his residency in Radiology.

Following this he was assigned to Landstuhl, Germany to command the newly formed Nuclear Medical Research Detachment. This group prepared US military personnel for the management of patients exposed to radiation from nuclear warfare. He responded to the Palomares, Spain incident where two US planes collided, and four unarmed nuclear bombs were scattered over miles of coastline. It was a massive recovery and cleanup operation. For this work he received the Army’s Legion of Merit award. He also served as a US delegate to the NATO committee on nuclear warfare.

He resigned from the Army in 1968 and accepted a position at the University of Pennsylvania in the department of radiology/nuclear medicine. He was later approached to set up a program to train hospital and other emergency personnel in the response to potential nuclear power plant accidents. Thus, Radiation Management Consultants (RMC) was established. Dr Linnemann and his team were instrumental in the response to the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident in 1979. He was also asked to consult to the Russian community responding to the Chernobyl accident. He was invited to speak regarding his unique program for responding to nuclear accident in Germany, Spain, Austria, Sweden and Korea.

Following his retirement, he relocated to Texas. Throughout his life, playing poker and piano remained a source of entertainment and this only escalated during his retirement. He played piano at local nursing homes and was still seen winning at his favorite poker club at 92 years of age. Without a doubt, he left an impact on everyone he met.

A memorial service will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in La Feria, TX on June 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Interment will be held at his family plot in St. Joseph, MN on July 28, 2023.