The following is a news article printed after Brian hounded our local newspaper practically shaming them into writing a story about Dave. Took a month, but they ran it.
San Bernardino County Sun Newspaper
An Extraordinary Life
By Josh Delaney, August 6, 2011
Brian Pettey stood near the football field at San Bernardino Valley College on Thursday and recalled how he met his best friend, Dave Linane.
It was in the seventh grade at Arrowview Junior High School before it became a middle school.
The boys were staring each other down in gym class.
“We ended up fighting after school,” Pettey said. “He and I sat there, and we wouldn’t let go.”
Calling it a draw, they shook hands and became best friends.
But Pettey would never really let go.
Linane was born to Thomas Frederick Linane and Alexandra Linane on March 13, 1955.
Like a lot of American boys growing up in the 1960s, Linane listened to rock ‘n’ roll and loved sports. He enjoyed playing baseball and was a big fan of bands like The Who.
He attended San Bernardino High School, where he wrestled, participated in track and spent summers as a lifeguard at the school swimming pool.
Linane also excelled on the football field. He started on the varsity squad each year and became a team captain.
Pettey played football with Linane in junior high school and high school.
“He was good-natured off the field,” said Pettey, 56. “He was very competitive on the field.”
So much so, that Linane made all-league and looked forward to playing football at Valley College in the fall of 1973.
Pettey joined him at the community college, where their friendship was changed forever.
A freak accident
Pettey, now a captain in the Fire Department, walked out of the library at Valley College in October 1973 and headed toward the parking lot.
But he soon noticed an ambulance parked on the football field and wondered if he knew the player who had been injured.
He was at home when the phone rang.
“A couple hours later I got a call from Dave’s brother, saying Dave is asking for you. They had just done surgery.”
Linane was in a hospital bed, paralyzed after breaking his neck on an aggressive tackle.
“It was just one of those freak accidents,” Pettey said.
The injury left Linane a quadriplegic.
Joined by Linane’s other close friends – Pettey’s 60-year-old brother Dave, who has retired from the Colton Fire Department, and mutual friend Jim Downs, a 60-year-old former Colton Joint Unified School District superintendent – Pettey spoke about how Linane’s parents worked tirelessly to help their son with his paralysis.
Pettey said Linane had limited movement from the chest up, no finger movement and could move his arms slightly from side to side. He wasn’t given a long life expectancy.
“Part of the reason for his longevity is the care of his family,” Downs said.
A ‘book full of stories’
Eventually, Linane’s friends gathered at his home.
“That’s where the beer would end up,” Pettey said. “We’d sit and listen to music and drink beers.”
The music would get louder and so would the parties.
Linane’s parents didn’t mind – their son was among loyal friends.
With the shock of the accident having worn off, Linane joined his buddies on the typical excursions of American youth.
They would frequently cruise E Street and bring Linane home after midnight.
Linane one time was in his wheelchair in the back of a van when his friends did a “fire drill” gag – where the occupants hop out of a vehicle at an intersection and return to different seats – and when the new driver hit the gas, Linane flew back so that his feet hit the ceiling.
When the driver slammed on the brakes, Linane flew forward in his wheelchair.
Linane was good-natured about the whole thing, even laughing about it, according to friends.
“We’ve got a book full of stories like that,” Brian Pettey said.
Linane went along with friends on trips to Las Vegas and nights out to dinner and the movies.
“People would pat me on the back and say, what would he do without you, but it’s kinda like what would I do without him?” Dave Pettey said.
Dawning of awareness
As Linane grew into adulthood, he lost contact with many friends who started families and got on with their lives.
In his mid-30s, Linane decided to go back to school, Brian Pettey said.
“He eventually said to me, 10 years from now I’m going to need something in my life,” he said. “He had that dawning of awareness – I better do something with my life.”
Over the course of several years, Linane would get himself to classes at Cal State San Bernardino, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in human development.
Two years later, he earned a master’s in rehabilitation counseling.
“I realized the only thing that was going to change for me was my attitude,” he was quoted as saying in a news article by The Sun. “It’s life. You deal with it. You make the most of it and you move on.”
He would end up working with disabled students at Valley College.
“He wasn’t going to sit put and let the state take care of him,” Brian Pettey said. “He was living life. He was a good friend.”
Known for being an excellent listener, Linane quietly fought his own physical problems while nurturing others through their bouts with disability.
Friends said he was an inspiration to everyone around him.
“He was a positive person in a terrible situation,” Downs said.
One big bash
More than 200 of Linane’s friends and relatives gathered on a Saturday night last month to share stories about the son, the brother, the friend who touched so many lives.
“He said when his time came, he just wanted a party,” Dave Pettey said. “He said just throw one big bash, so we had a party in his backyard.”
Linane died July 10 from complications related to his disability. He was 56.
His loved ones traded stories about Linane, including the time he crashed his wheelchair into a guardrail along Highway 18.
“He was fearless as far as getting in that chair,” Downs said.
Mostly they reminisced about the character of the man who was always available to listen to someone’s problems, while never complaining about his own.
“This community is missing a solid individual in this town,” Brian Pettey said.
Linane was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Frederick Linane.
He is survived by his mother, Alexandra Linane; sisters Linda Linane, Anne Linane Mann, Mardi Linane; brother Scott Linane and nieces, nephews and cousins