Cover photo for John Richard Quinn MD's Obituary
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1929 John 2023

John Richard Quinn MD

March 27, 1929 — March 22, 2023

John R. (Jack) Quinn, MD

March 27, 1929, to March 22, 2023

 

Jack passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease that worsened after contracting Covid in early Winter.  It was the first Ski Season he missed in 60 years!

Jack was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Austin and Veronica Quinn, the third of 4 boys.  In Omaha, he attended Holy Names Grade School and then Creighton Preparatory School.  He was an Eagle Scout, played Varsity Football and ran Track.  He graduated in 1947, first in his High School class.

At the age of 18, he and friend Al Berkley, hitch-hiked to the Northwest and California. He was so taken with the mountains, lakes and open land that he was determined to move to the Northwest someday.

He attended Creighton University and then Creighton Medical School, graduating at the age of 23 years.  He met and married his lifelong soul mate, Patricia Louise Ryder, part way through Medical School.  She was his intellectual match and kept him dancing through the years.

Under the auspices of the United States Air Force, they were sent to Geiger Air Force Base, outside of Spokane, Washington.  Jack was promoted to Captain and became the 9th Air Division Surgeon.  After an honorable discharge from the USAF, he became the first Surgical Resident at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

Jack then went into Private Practice in Spokane, as a General Practitioner and Surgeon, practicing for over 55 years!  He owned Country Homes Medical Center.  He retired from medicine at the age of 79 years.

In the meantime, Jack and Patricia had 8 children, 7 of which survived.  As Jack was often “On Call” delivering babies, performing surgeries, etc., Patricia had much to do at home! They were a good team with a complete separation of duties!

When Jack had time off, the family went on adventures to Canada, Glacier National Park, the Oregon Coast or Sailing in the San Juan Islands.  Going to the lakes in N. Idaho became a big part of Life.  Sailing got in his blood and the Quinn family raced a Thistle class sailboat on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  The kids were always the crew!

Skiing became perhaps the biggest passion for the entire family…except Mom.  Most every weekend Jack and the kids headed up to Mt. Spokane…sometimes filing into Church first with the leather ski boots already on.  Occasionally, the Priest would head to the mountain after Church, stuffed into the station wagon with the kids.  Jack eventually upgraded to a Motorhome which became known as the Quinn Mobile.  If the traffic stopped on the way up the mountain, Jack would just pass everyone!  There were many nail-biting moments in the Motorhome such as heading down from Jackass Ski Bowl (Silver Mountain) with no lights working, in the dark of night, on that terrifying road!

Jack enjoyed many other sports such as Handball, Tennis, Windsurfing, Water-skiing and in the latter years, taking his 3 wheeled bike for a spin.  He was generally always working or playing with little time for sitting around. The Quinn yard provided lots of family fun with football in the front yard, badminton or basketball on the side court, and the wild antics in the swimming pool.  The ample chores with the big house and yard were done by the family.  Rarely was anyone hired to do the work.  It was work first, then play. This was very important to Jack.

A new stage in life started with buying a place on Lake Pend Oreille, at Westwood, in Sandpoint.  The grown-up kids would often return for Camp Quinn in the middle of Summer.  Tennis competitions with the Canadians and each other would start at 7AM. New potential family members had to pass the rigors of at least 5 different sports each day!  In the evening, they were challenged with a family game of Jeopardy…. which Patricia always won in the early days.

Many good friends were made in Sandpoint and up at Schweitzer starting with Nastar Ski Racing, the Festival Cup and Masters ski racing.  Jack was proud of winning his Age Group Giant Slalom one year at the Nastar Nationals.  Not bad for growing up in Nebraska!  Of course, good Powder Skiing was always the sought-out treasure!

Jack was known as Papa to his many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.  He loved to teach them things about life and how to swim, play tennis, ski, sail, etc.  He was so proud of each and every one of them.

Patricia passed away in 2018, leaving a big hole in Jack’s heart.  They had been married for 67 years.  Jack and Patricia are survived by 5 of their children:  Tim Quinn, MD (Wanda), Christine Hudson, Dennis Quinn, Eileen Q. Sterling (Kelly) and Meg Quinn, DVM.  Jack and Patricia had 13 Grandchildren and, thus far, 10 Great Grandchildren. Jack was preceded in death by his brothers, Robert Quinn, Courtney Quinn and James Quinn.  He was sadly also preceded in death by son-in-law, Kenneth Hudson, son Brian Quinn (Sachiko), daughter Maureen Q. Hammond (Curtis) and grandson Nicklas Quinn Hjelm.

The family owes a huge debt of Gratitude to those who helped Jack towards the end…. David Bomba, Joan Zimmer, Jorin, Eric and Jason.  We really appreciate all that you did.

We will dearly miss Papa and all those family members who have gone before us.  We just know that Jack and Pat are up there dancing away in Heaven…. always the oldest couple still out on the floor!

Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:30 am, Friday, June 23, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Reception will follow after the service.

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