James Steven Quinn
James Steven Quinn
  • March 16, 1944 - October 28, 2017
  • Palm Harbor, Florida

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James S. Quinn passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2017, in the early afternoon. He will be interred in the Bay Pines VA Memorial Park in St. Petersburg.

The eldest of four siblings, James S. Quinn was born in the Bronx, NY, on March 16, 1944. As a young man of 21, Jim enlisted in the Army on June 3, 1965 to serve in the Vietnam War. In May of 1966, he sustained multiple missile wounds which resulted in the amputation of both his legs below the knee. Private First Class Quinn was awarded the Purple Heart and two Bronze Star Medals – one for meritorious service and the other for heroism in the face of intense enemy fire.

Jim’s platoon was given the mission to apprehend all Viet Cong suspects within a designated village. After the enemy was halted and forced back, Private First Class Quinn courageously answered a call for volunteers to recover wounded personnel, totally disregarding his own safety. It was during this time that he was severely injured by explosions around him. His commanding officer said that Jim’s “courageous action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Jim met his wife Susanne Tellis at the University of Illinois. They were engaged on February 14, 1970 and were married on June 14, 1970. Their son Adam was born three years later on July 14, 1973 in Largo, where they started a new life together.

Jim was a man of integrity, a devout Catholic, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. He was thoughtful, kind, generous, helpful, and hard-working. He never complained about his disabilities and loved to wear his American Flag prostheses along with a shirt emblazoned with the American flag. He remained active and independent, first working in the Pinellas County School System as a vocational arts and drafting instructor and then as a computer programmer at IBM, from which he retired.

Jim loved to travel and organized many trips for himself and Susi. Among them were New York City to see relatives and take in Broadway shows; a cruise in Alaska combined with some activities on land, such as snowmobiling; Las Vegas to test their luck in the casinos and enjoy many shows. One summer Jim went alone to Turkey to visit his sister-in-law Maria and her Turkish husband in Istanbul. Another time he visited Japan to see his son Adam, who had a job playing the bagpipes at Tokyo Disneyland. The furthest he and Susi ever traveled together was a trip to Australia to be present at Adam’s wedding.

St. Patrick’s Day was one of Jim’s favorite holidays, and he enjoyed celebrating his Irish ancestors. Since some of his relatives were Polish on his mother’s side, Jim learned to make sauerkraut and pierogi, a type of Polish ravioli. Jim loved people; he was a sociable person with a great sense of humor. All who knew and loved him will always remember his “chop, chop” and “mushi, mushi” when he answered the phone. Jim was an inspiration and a very special person. We will miss him dearly.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Susanne T. Quinn; his son, Adam; his grandchildren, Oona and Indus; and his sister, Therese Holler.

Jim’s service will be held at the Espiritu Santo Catholic Church in Safety Harbor (2405 Philippe Parkway) on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow in the John Bosco Center at the church.

Instead of flowers, you can make a donation online in memory of James S. Quinn, please go to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) website, http://www.dav.org, and click on “Donate Now” on the top right of the screen. Then fill in the information requested.

OR if you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to the “DAV National Service Foundation” and be sure to write “In memory of James S. Quinn” in the “For” section on the bottom of the check. Then mail it to:

VA Regional Office

P.O. Box 1437

St. Petersburg, FL 33731