Date Created: 03/26/2017
Last Updated: 03/27/2017

In loving memory of Thomas Quinn
10/5/1931 - 3/21/2017

Location: Livonia, Michigan

Visits: 4,134

This memorial was created in honor of Thomas "Pops" Michael Quinn of Livonia, Michigan. Thomas was born on October 5, 1931 in Detroit and passed on March 21, 2017. Thomas was loved by many and will be dearly missed by all friends and family.


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From: Brian Quinn Wednesday, March 29, 2017
By Patrick Schlick

Grandma&Pops as if it was slurred together to almost become one syllable. I have said it like this my entire life; if you see one of them walking up the driveway the other is most certainly right behind. Seventeen Grandchildren and they seemed to make it to every event you needed them at.

When I sat down to write this letter I started thinking about skills and life lessons that Pops passed down to me. As I was thinking about the many life lessons it was hard for me to attribute one life lesson to one specific grandparent. That is because with Pops came Grandma, and with Grandma came Pops. They are the dynamic duo, in my mind the two people with all of the answers.

As I grew up my parents would tell me to keep my priorities in line, figure out what is important to you and stick with it. If you asked any of the cousins to list their priorities you would be hard-pressed to find one cousin that did not say family first. Family first is something that has been instilled in each and every one of us.

I am closer to my cousins than most people are to their siblings. Now that is something that I can attribute directly to my grandparents. You could see it in Pop’s eyes at every family reunion, just sheer happiness and pride with what he created. A look that I will never forget, a look that each and every one of us strive for someday. Sitting there with the hearing aids completely turned thinking to your self “I did a pretty damn good job”.

From: Brian Quinn Tuesday, March 28, 2017
All That A Man Can Be
A son’s reflections on all of the things his father taught him throughout his life

My father, Tom Quinn passed on March 21st but his legacy lives through his loving wife, kids, grandkids and great grandkids and all those he touched in his 85 years. He was never one to draw attention to himself but on this day we do him honor by acknowledging how impactful he was. Tom Quinn was as ordinary of a man as you could meet but he was as extraordinary man as you would ever know.

He was a man of few words but could express a thousand with a scowl or a smile. Without saying a word you knew how he felt. Although he was rarely the center of attention he managed to leave a big imprint. Never one to brag, he was a simple man of integrity. Tom Quinn’s life is a story of all that a Man could be. He lived by a few simple tenants that most men find unachievable – Faith, Family, Integrity and Hard Work.

Growing up a first generation Irish Catholic, Tom was educated primarily in Catholic schools. A graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School, Pops learned the Jesuit disciplined approach to education. He was committed to providing the same Catholic education for his 6 children at Dearborn Divine Child. Patrick was the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps by attending U of D.

He was a man of continual prayer and strong Catholic faith. His faith only increased as he grew older through reading and disciplined repetitive prayer. As a child, I am not aware of a day that our family missed Church. While on a sailing vacation, I remember walking for miles (probably using a Quinn shortcut) to ensure we did not miss Mass.
Pops was at his best as a worker bee for the Church. Whether he was lining a football field or helping Tom Barry with the World’s greatest picnic, Tom was a doer. In retirement he volunteered as a Catechist and joined the Knight’s of Columbus. I never saw him more excited or nervous as the time he pulled together a charity Euchre event to benefit the Lennon Center.

While most of his classmates were destined for a university setting, Pops had other concerns like helping his family through working. Arguably his parents were big influences on the man he would become. His father struggled with alcoholism and sometimes drifted from home. His mother insisted everyone had to pitch in to keep the family together. Grandma Quinn was a devout Catholic and strong advocate of family.


After his faith, Family was the next most important thing to my father and mother. This FACT was impressed upon us with quotes such as “Blood is thicker than water” or “Family sticks together” or “Don’t let anyone mess with your brother or sister”. Our social calendar priority was family related. We spent holidays with family, vacations with family and weekends with family.

If my father had a single source of pride, it would be in his family. Admittedly, he was not one to shower the kids with praise as is so often practiced today. Tom Quinn was old school. He taught his children to be humble, work hard and give your best. If you managed to accomplish these three things you may still not receive a pat on the back. Rather, it was just expected and you knew (without words) that he was proud of you. He and my mom would work hard to attend every kid event – with 6 kids that adds up to a lot of events. In typical Tom Quinn fashion, he was not the boisterous parent that would call attention to himself, nor the parent that would suck up to a coach for more playing time. Rather, he was that parent that would be supportive of his kid and the team. They would host a dinner or post-game Euchre party.

Pops was a very disciplined man. Like his father before him, my dad was an alcoholic. One could argue he was a functional alcoholic as I never saw him miss a day of work (unless he broke a body part). However, when the bottle started to impact his family life, he committed to change. At the age of 49, he decided that his family was more important than the bottle and quit cold turkey. If you need to stop drinking to save your family…you do what you have to do. If you smoke cigarettes for 30 years and you need to quit to survive…you stop smoking. If you replace each of your joints and need to do 5 exercises a day to recover…dammit, you get er done. His discipline carried over into his faith life. He was a man of daily prayer.

I don’t recall seeing the man cry for the first +20 years of my life. However, as he aged and softened around the edges, he would frequently cry at our Christmas gatherings as he would give thanks for his family or when he would toast his lovely bride at one of their many wedding anniversaries. When you stay true to the love of your life for 64 years, you get to celebrate a few anniversaries.

He didn’t have to tell us how important we were to him as his actions spoke volumes – FAMILY!

Integrity can be found in so many facets of his life – earning an honest day’s wages, doing the right thing all of the time, having honest relationships. Again, he never pulled his kids aside and gave us a lecture on integrity – he showed us. He didn’t have to draw attention to himself and tell us how good a man he was. He simply treated people fairly, he disavowed racism, he earned every dime he made…he treated others as he would like to be treated. He also was quick to call Bullshit on us when he thought we weren’t being honest or fair. Simple Tom Quinn got his point across without holding formal discussions how to live with integrity….I guess he knew what he was doing all along. He was the most honest and loyal person that I have ever had the privilege of knowing and I am proud to be his son.

Growing up under his roof, I came to expect that all men were to be as honest, hard-working and completely trustworthy people. About the harshest thing you could say about the man was he demanded your best. “If you are going to do it half-ass then don’t do it at all!” We honored him and my mom by giving our best regardless of the outcome.
At John E. Green he was known as a tireless worker that expected everyone to carry their weight. Whether running a job, superintendent of the work force or estimator, you knew when Tom was on the job. More than one co-worker and even customer understood Tom was upset as his eyes bulged from his head. Dammit, do it right or don’t do it at all!

Pops was a worker, plain and simple. He worked hard at his day job with John E. Green and would constantly be working on a home project at 139 Kingsbury. Pat and Mike were his two apprentices and learned as much as they could from the carpenter turned pipefitter. Ma Q and Pops bought the Kingsbury house as a small 2 bedroom ranch and built on the second floor with help of his father and father-in-law. The next 20 years were filled with home projects including finishing the basement and paneling and painting anything that stood still…including the infamous White exterior. With 4 boys, he also became adept at repairing broken windows in our back porch from stray balls. “There is a park two blocks away – play ball there”

When they moved to Livonia 20 years or so ago, he continued to work…now he had an acre to play with. Planting pumpkins and a vegetable patch, inserting a golf green, woodchips, trimming trees, mowing on the John Deere, towing his tools behind the John Deere…the man loved to putz. If you want to see proof of his zealousness for work, take a look at his basement tool room which could make Ace hardware blush. Every tool known to mankind including those passed on from Grampa Murphy reside in his basement. Don’t forget to check out his multi-zoned heating and cooling system. I dare say that working allowed him to live till he was 85.

Humble Man
He passed without winning a Heisman, a Rhoades Scholarship or even a good sportsmanship award. He will never pass as Dr. Phil, but somehow he made his message clear with few words and a life filled with consistent action.
We celebrate him today as a man who lived a fulfilling life with his loving wife and cast a huge imprint on this world without taking credit or reflecting on himself. He led a simple life of prayer, discipline, hard work and love and will be sorely missed. In typical Tom Quinn fashion – he challenges all of us to do the same!

Rest in Peace Pops, we love you and are ever so grateful to be your children, grandchildren and friends.

From: Brian Quinn Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The suddenness of your loss still resonates through me with little shock waves. Hitting me at random times throughout the day.

I see a deck of cards on the side table, and I’m reliving countless games of cribbage, euchre, and bridge that we would play. The endless ribbing that would occur before and during. Your sounds of celebration and satisfaction when you would double skunk me. Your disgust with your cards and desire for a rematch when I got the upper hand. I think of the binder you put together for me of bridge hands that you painstakingly cut out of your newspaper every week. The pride and joy I saw in your face that we shared an interest. The eagerness with which you answered my questions about the rules. The unending patience when I misplayed a hand.

I made spaghetti for dinner tonight and couldn’t help but smile remembering our running joke about the eternal Italian food that we seemed to eat together. Starting when you visited me in Chicago for my graduation, and continuing until this last time that I came and visited you and Grandma in Livonia. I decided to splurge and make a batch of brownies afterwards, remembering the intensity with which you focused on dessert. Your determination to try everything sweet. Your satisfaction after a particularly large piece of cake.

Pulling on my favorite pair of sweatpants, I can still hear you asking me jokingly if I owned anything other than sweats when you pulled up to our house for Thanksgiving and I hadn’t changed into my nice clothes yet – greeting you instead with crocks and sweatpants and a promise to not take it easy on the old man in cards that night.

I think of every important milestone in my life, and your presence is pervasive. I can see you presenting me with flowers after my school play; I can hear your exclamatory “Monique!” as you got out of the car every Thanksgiving; I remember looking up into the stands during swim meets and seeing you there; your pride at my high school and college graduation; your wonder and curiosity when you visited me in Houston and saw me with my kids; your quiet hug and whispered ‘I’m so proud of you’ when I told you I got into medical school and you came to my White Coat ceremony. I know when I graduate medical school in a year and earn an MD behind my name, there will be a moment when I look to see where you are in the audience. When I find out where I’m going for my pediatric residency, I’ll want to share it with you. I know how excited you would be for me, because throughout my entire life you never missed an opportunity to remind me how much you believe in me.

Your pride in the accomplishments of your children and grandchildren, no matter how small, is one of the greatest gifts you could give us. Your devotion to family has instilled similar values in me. Your tireless work to provide for your family is a powerful example to me of the work ethic I want to have. You will be sorely missed by so many people, but I can’t help but feel happy that you left us so peacefully. I will forever be grateful for the amount of time I was lucky enough to have you in my life. Thank you for the memories and the life lessons Pops – I hope you are dealt only winning hands in Heaven.

I love you

From: Brian Quinn Monday, March 27, 2017
Thomas Michael Quinn Obituary

THOMAS MICHAEL 85, of Livonia, Michigan, passed away to be with our Lord on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Venice, Florida. Tom was born October 5, 1931 in Detroit, Michigan to Con and Lil Quinn. Early in life he served in the US Navy and on November 15, 1952 he married the love of his life, Patricia Murphy. Tom was employed at John E. Green for 35 years and was a proud member of Pipefitters Local 636. He was an avid sailor and a member of the Ford Yacht Club. Most important to Tom were his Catholic Faith, family, and his Irish heritage. He was a true example of servant leadership and gave of himself through the Knights of Columbus, Lennon Center and other charitable organizations. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he held close to his heart. Tom is survived by his wife Patricia and his children: Kathleen Partyka (Dan), Patrick (Angela), Brian (Marie-Louise), Marianne Schlick (Roger), and Kevin (Michelle). Tom is also survived by his 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Michael (Rosemarie), his brother-in-law Jed Greer and sister-in-law Marge Quinn. He is survived by his siblings Jim Quinn, Con Quinn (Virginia), Maureen Greer, and his extended family in Ireland. A celebration of life Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 31 at St. Colette Catholic Church at 17600 Newburgh Rd. Livonia, MI 48152. Friends may call from 2:00 until 7:00 p.m., with Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 30 at Harry J Will Funeral Home at 37000 W. 6 Mile, Livonia, MI 48152. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Lennon Center, 24275 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127

Published in The Detroit News & Detroit Free Press on Mar. 26, 2017
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