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John Link II

September 2, 1942 - May 1, 2021
Kalamazoo, MI


Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, May 7, 2021
10:00 AM EDT
St. Ann Catholic Church
12648 E D Ave
Augusta, MI 49012
(269) 731-4721

Burial at East Cooper Cemetery



Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


John died from a variety of medical complications Saturday night, May 1, 2021 in Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born ­­­­­September 2,194­­2 and raised in Oklahoma City. His advanced education includes receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English from the University of Oklahoma in 1965. He did his graduate work at the University of Oklahoma and received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 1968.

He began his professional career in 1968 at the University of Southern Illinois as Head of Drawing, Painting, and Prints. He joined Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1977 as Chair Person in the Department of Art. He served in that position until 1979 when he joined Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia as Head of their Department of Art. In 1980 he returned to WMU serving in his former position until 1985 when he joined the faculty as Professor. He served on many different committees over the years for the University, the College of Fine Arts, and his home Department of Art. Most notable was his meaningful contributions to the department Curriculum Committee. He retired in 2007 as Professor Emeritus of Art to spend more time with his ailing wife, Vickie.

John was an accomplished artist, writer, and art critic. His professional recognition included over 50 exhibitions, and 28 inclusions in museums, private and corporate collections. His writing was equally prolific with articles in 66 publications. There are 116 references to his work and he was very active doing lectures, workshops, panels, and consulting. John also received numerous grants and awards.

John Link was one smart guy. When he was in high school his parents got a request for a conference about John. His mom and dad wondered about what he may have done wrong. They discovered the issue was not his behavior, it was that he was so smart they did not know what to do with John's IQ of 160. In undergraduate school, his philosophy professors were frustrated by John's ability. During logic discussions, he could skew the content to question who was smarter, the professor or the student.

In high school he realized the value and significance of words and worked at mastering the language. That communication ability served him well as both professor and administrator. His reasoning was always evident in lectures and that was also true during problem solving as a manager. He tried his best to be fair and reasonable in all that he did.

He was truly devoted to his dear wife Vicki Trejbal who he met while teaching at the University of Southern Illinois in Carbondale. They always had some kind of critter around the house, an exotic parrot, rare breed of cat, a German Sheppard, or a dog specifically bred for hunting, a killer. John had a variety of side interests, he was a master guitar maker, computer builder, and handy man around the house. His latest interest was rebuilding an "old woodie,” a 1950's wood cruising boat. What ever his interests, he researched the subject and became an authority about the content. Yes, he was smart, but what was most amazing was that he remembered everything.

Along with his wife, Vicki, he is survived by his brothers, Frank and Joe. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM Friday (May 7) at St. Ann Catholic Church, 12648 East D Avenue, Augusta. Burial at East Cooper Cemetery directly following.

Please visit John’s webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Memorials may be directed to a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.