WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Lois Boland Quinn (Mrs. John H. Quinn) of Williamstown died surrounded by all her children at Berkshire Medical Center on Friday, July 6, 2018, after a brief illness.
Mrs. Quinn was born at home on Elmwood Avenue, North Adams on October 11, 1924, to Atty. J. Bernard Boland and Marion (Lonergan) Boland. Mrs. Quinn was a summa cum laude graduate of Our Lady of The Elms College, class of 1946. In 1948 Mrs. Quinn was appointed Probation Officer for Juveniles in Berkshire County, at that time the first female probation officer in Massachusetts. As a probation officer, she was instrumental in establishing an emergency shelter for run-away children in Berkshire County. Mrs. Quinn was later appointed Assistant Chief Probation Officer, the highest ranking female legal officer in Berkshire County for many years.
Mrs. Quinn was a founding member of Downey Side, a national nonprofit organization devoted to recruiting adoptive families for older children adrift in the foster care system, and for establishing Downey Side homes in the Berkshires.
At her retirement in 1980, after 32 years of service, Judge John A. Barry, Presiding Justice wrote for the Justices of the County: "Lois Quinn is a woman of high intellectual and moral values, values which are desperately needed in dealing with the juveniles who appear here before the courts today. Her daily living and sound advice have carried many troubled youth and their families from crisis and confusion to levels of stability and strength. In a society in which moral values and principles are under constant assault, individuals of Lois Quinn's caliber are needed to keep the concept of the family wholesome and alive." Fritz M. Heinemann, then Executive Director of United Way of Berkshire, wrote: "Lois Quinn is known as a tireless worker. Her commitment to helping young people in trouble and their families has been her trademark. In a difficult job--often facing what to many would seem to be insurmountable obstacles--Lois has quietly gone about her work with resolve, tempered compassion and sensitivity for those in need."
In 1971, Mrs. Quinn was voted Williamstown's "Mother of the Year" by the Williamstown News. From 1980 to 1983 she was a founding member and served as co-director of The Harper Senior Center in Williamstown.
Mrs. Quinn and her husband Jack wintered for over 30 years in Siesta Key, Fla. Mrs. Quinn was a member of the Taconic Golf Club, Williams College Faculty Club and Elms College Alumnae. She was a charter member of the Right to Life of Berkshire County. Lois Quinn was a communicant of Saints Patrick and Raphael Church in Williamstown.
Mrs. Quinn always followed her father's advice to "enjoy your children" while being firm; setting expectations, responsibilities and limits.
She leaves her son Patrick and partner Grant Sun of Williamstown; son John of Boston; daughter Susan and husband John Haffty of Shrewesbury; son Daniel and wife Claudia Quinn of Weston; daughter Marion and husband Gregory Jowett of Williamstown; grandchildren David Haffty, Elizabeth Polin, Alison Quinn, Christopher Jowett, Lydia Quinn and Isabelle Quinn; and five great-grandchildren.
Lois Quinn daily lived life with the motto she learned at Elms College: "Make the world better for your having been in it'. She left this life with style and grace, having both had and given a good time."
Funeral notice: A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saints Patrick and Raphael Church, Williamstown, on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Westlawn Cemetery. All friends and family of Lois Quinn are invited to a luncheon at The Williams Inn immediately after the cemetery.
Calling hours will be at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapel, 521 West Main St., North Adams on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. Those wishing to remember Lois Quinn in a special way may make donations to 'The Lois Boland Quinn Scholarship Fund' at The Elms College, Development Office, 291 Springfield St. Chicopee, MA 01013 directly or through Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, 521 West Main St., North Adams, MA 01247.