Home > NN. Occasions > Obituary for Nancy Quinn, 1929-2016

Obituary for Nancy Quinn, 1929-2016

      It is with deep sadness that Tony, Eric, and Larry Quinn announce the death of their mother, Nancy Quinn, on May 21st from lung cancer. She was 87.

      Nancy Proctor Quinn was born on March 10, 1929 in Pasadena, California. She was the daughter of Stewart E. Wilson, an actor on the legitimate stage, and Leone Muriel Simpson, the daughter of a successful building contractor. As an infant, she was adopted by Margaret Proctor and grew up in Los Angeles and New York City. Her family owned a cabin on Lake Tahoe where she spent many happy summers. She received her elementary and high school education at the Horace Mann School and Marlborough School. While a student at the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations, she met and married Harry Alan Quinn, a WWII veteran who subsequently became a Foreign Service Officer. During a 30-year career, they were posted to the Azores, Brazil, Trinidad, Costa Rica, and France. After returning from overseas, she ran a bed-and-breakfast in Arlington, Virginia. She also worked as a secretary at George Washington University in the 1980s. Her retirement was spent in Shepherdstown and Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Mrs. Quinn was known for her keen wit, her stylish interior decorating, and her entertaining cocktail parties. She had a fine contralto voice and when young wanted to be a jazz singer. She loved dogs and for several years bred her German Shepherds Tippy and Schultz. A gifted storyteller, she wrote a memoir of her childhood, A Daughter’s Song and Dance. She had a green thumb.

Mrs. Quinn believed deeply in the right of adopted children to know the identity of their birth parents, and after a search of many years was able to discover the identity of her own. As a result of her search, she met and became close friends with her half-brother, Kenneth Simpson.

She is survived by her three sons, Lynne Quinn, her daughter-in-law, and Abigail and Alan Quinn, her grandchildren. Her family holds her in loving memory.

We love you, Mama Bear!

Photo: High School Graduation Portrait; family collection; all rights reserved.

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  1. Sarah Masters
    May 25, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I am very, very sorry to hear this news. I’m holding you and your family in my heart.

    • May 28, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      sarah: thanks again and hope all is well with you. eric

  2. May 28, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. How I wish I could have heard her sing. I’m hoping that you still can.

  3. June 7, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Aubrey–

    I still can, quite clearly. One of many delightful memories I get to keep. Hope all is well with you and your poet’s ear… Eric

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