The English language was a lot to Joan Quinn.
As a teacher, this was the subject of many lessons in the classroom. As a curious mind, it was a means of transport for fiction novels and current events at the same time.
Reading was a habit she shared with her husband Kevin Quinn. As the early risers of the two, he said in an interview, he was the first to peruse the newspaper.
“And for decades,” he said, “I was going through a lot of the front page articles and everything, and put a little check mark next to something and I thought, ‘Joanie is going to want to see this. I want to make sure you show it to him. “
Joan Quinn, of Spicer, Minn., Died last year at the age of 72 of complications from multiple strokes. A celebration of life will be July 20.
She was the daughter of John and LaDonna Adkins. Born in Minot, North Dakota on October 31, 1947, she grew up in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and graduated from high school in 1965.
Although her father hoped she would become a nurse, Quinn graduated from Moorhead State University in 1969, ready to pursue a career in teaching. That year, she moved to Benson, Minnesota, got married, and began teaching English at the local high school.
Quinn taught in high school until 1971 and spent the following years raising a family. She returned in 1980 and in 1985 enrolled at St. Cloud State University, where she obtained her Masters.
That year was marked by another move, this time to Willmar, Minnesota, and Quinn’s acceptance of a teaching position in English and Mass Communication at Ridgewater College, as he was still called Willmar Community College. She retired from college in 2003.
“You could tell right away that she was probably a teacher,” said Colleen Thompson Michels, former president of the university and close friend of Quinn. “Lots of enthusiasm, very passionate about her subject, and a bubbly personality… the students were always looking for her classes. They were always full.”
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As a student newspaper advisor, a role in which she spent many late nights working with students on time, Quinn discovered a new appreciation for the work involved in newspaper production. The experience changed the way he looked at newspapers, according to Kevin Quinn.
“Before, it was just a source of information. Now she would watch it, criticize it, get involved in all kinds of discussions about placement, what story should be placed in that part of the story and a else should be around here, and your eyes follow some of these pictures that way but not that way, all that sort of thing, “he recalls. “And she loved it. Boy, has she invested a lot in this.”
Curious and energetic, Joan read several newspapers a day.
His interest in current affairs is coupled with a passion for civic engagement. She served for a time on the board of directors of United Way of West Central Minnesota and was also involved in the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, which helped organize local candidate forums and debates.
Outside of work, Quinn enjoyed pontoon rides and tended to her flower garden. But her “biggest thrill in life,” said Kevin Quinn, was being a mother and a grandmother. A mother of three and a grandmother of six, she loved family visits and sports for young people.
“You could count on his presence at each of these tough guys,” he said.