John Phillip “Jack” Quinn, 63, of Joplin, died on Thursday, Oct. 15, at Freeman Hospital in Joplin following a three-week battle with COVID-19.
Known as “Uncle Jack” to many more people than just his numerous relatives, Jack lived his life as the embodiment of “Love and Service.” He was a guiding light to many who found themselves lost in utter blackness and despair. Thousands of people’s lives have been profoundly altered by his care, laughter and presence.
Jack was born on January 22, 1957, the sixth of seven sons to parents, Walter William and Mary Loretta (Williams) Quinn, a farmer and homemaker in Monroe City.
He graduated from Monroe City High School and attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he majored in partying and other extracurricular activities. As he was fond of saying about his college years, “It was the Seventies, and we did it ALL!”
He eventually moved to Joplin where he worked for Butterball and Leggett & Platt. He spent the last eight years as Director of Operational Services for Boyd Metals.
After leaving college, Jack married Gwen Schubert with whom he had three daughters. They later divorced.
On October 15, 2001, he made a decision which would change his life and the lives of all he would come in contact with for the better. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous and became an active, trusted servant in the recovery community.
Often, he would say, “I love you enough to tell you the truth!” In the days since his passing, people across the country have shared how much those sharp and uncomfortable truths Jack told them were an inflection point for their own recovery.
Jack was a man of “ACT-tion” who was always willing to lend a hand. Usually the first words out of his mouth after his name were “What can I do to help?”
In addition to his involvement in AA, he served on the Board of Directors for Ascent Recovery Residences and was a member of the Creative Learning Alliance in Joplin’s Outreach Committee. He was an avid fan of the Mizzou Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. He loved ice cream more than just about anything and he was obsessed with hummingbirds.
On December 11, 2010, he married Dory Kinler, with whom he spent his last years living in wedded bliss. Together, they enjoyed hiking, watching college football games, and spending time with their cherished family and friends.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his wife, Dr. Dory Kinler Quinn, of the home; his daughters, Stephanie Roughton (Chase) of Houston, Texas, Melissa McAuliff (Brian) of Wichita, Kansas, and Courtney Quinn (fiancé Cameron Mohler) of Omaha, Nebraska; grandchildren, Avery McAuliff and Easton and Kinley Roughton; the mother of his children, Gwen Braddish; his brothers, Nick, Paul, Kenneth, Tom, Robert and Chris; a gaggle of in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends from work, from church, from his civic involvement and from AA.
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Joplin. The family respectfully asked that those in attendance wear masks and practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Ascent Recovery Residences of Joplin, PO Box 4368, Joplin, MO 64803 or ascentrecovery.org; or to Joplin Area Catholic Schools, 930 S. Pearl Avenue, Joplin, MO 64801or https://www.jacss.org/development/
Jack’s absence feels the heaviest now, in moments of grief and pain. These were the times when his steadfast company was most appreciated. When his laughter and wisdom were the greatest balm. He had a way of knowing just what to say. Of making a plan that would see us through to the other side.
If he could, he would say to us: “Trudge the road.” Continue to walk with purpose. Let your purpose be to be of maximum service to the God of your understanding and to your fellows. Ask those you meet on the road “What can I do to help?” Be an example of love and service.