In Memory

Gail Linnell - Class Of 1969 VIEW PROFILE

Melvin Gail Linnell, 67, of Lincroft, N.J., formerly of Rumson, N.J., died Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at  Hackensack University Medical Center, of complications from a stem cell transplant. He died peacefully, with his family by his side.

Visitation was Monday, Jan. 21 and the funeral service was Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701. 

Gail, as he was known, was born on June 15, 1951, in Conrad, to Melvin Howard and Lillian Marguerite (Chase). He graduated from Sunburst High School, and received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D in Mathematics and Statistics from Montana State University - Bozeman. He taught at Florida State University (where he met his wife) while doing his doctoral work.

Gail married the love of his life, Virginia “Ginny” (Velasco), on Sept. 15, 1976, and they spent 42 happy years together, raising their three children in Monmouth County, N.J. He was a valued member of the Middletown and Rumson, N.J., communities.

Gail spent his illustrious career in the Bell System, starting at Bell Labs in 1978 until his retirement in 2018 from Perspecta Labs. Gail was well known in his field as an expert and international consultant on telecommunications and contributed in significant ways, including his expertise in SS7 and his work on the 1991 telecommunications crash that affected 12 million people. Gail received many awards and accolades, including an award from the Congressional EMP Commission for his outstanding work on developing mitigation strategies for threats to the country. 

Gail had a brilliant mind, but he was widely known as a humble and gentle man. He was an honest and true friend, a leader at work, and had a patient and kind heart. Gail was a loving and loyal husband, and was devoted to his wife, Ginny. His love for his wife and his devotion to her was an example to all who knew them. Gail was active with his children, volunteering in Scouting and coaching their soccer teams, and was always supporting and encouraging them throughout their lives. 

He loved traveling the world, enjoying good food and wine and the company of good friends. Gail adored his grandchildren and loved spending time with them on the lake by his home. For all of his accomplishments, Gail was first and foremost a family man, and was fiercely proud of his wife, children and grandchildren. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Ginny; his children Jennifer, Christine Wollschleager and her husband Jonathan, and Bruce and his wife Meghan (Cahill); his grandchildren Sophia, Gwenyth, Sebastian, Everett and August; his sister Susan and her family; his sisters-in-law Nancy and her family and Sharon and her family; as well as many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital may be made in his name at 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105,

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04/20/19 04:22 AM #1    

Carol Iverson (Sippel) (1980)

I remember Gail as the kindest, most patient swim instructor a terrified 5 year old with twisted legs and two eyes that refused to cooperate with each other could ever have.  He allowed me to learn at a pace at which I was comfortable, always encouraging any effort.  His patience turned a hopelessly unathletic land creature into someone who found total freedom in the water.  I'm sure he would have been amused to know that in college swim classes, if the numbers on our relay teams were uneven, the instructor usually told me to swim both lead off and anchor legs, even if it meant competing against a guy.  It's amazing what a lasting impact a great mentor can have on a young person's life.  As adults, it's a good reminder to strive to be the kind of mentor Gail was and also to make our children aware of and grateful for people who share their time and talents with others. 

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