Obituary: William H. Quinn, 1938 -2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: William H. Quinn, 1938 -2022 

Published January 4, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated January 4, 2023 at 7:45 p.m.

click to enlarge William H. Quinn - COURTESY
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  • William H. Quinn

It is with profound heartbreak that the family of Bill Quinn announce his passing from this life on December 3, 2022.

Hailing from humble Vermont beginnings, Bill lived a purposeful life full of professional achievements, great and enduring friendships and raw tragedy in the loss of his son, wife and daughter, one at a time, and all being too young.

Upon graduating from Bellows Falls High School in 1954, Bill attended Tufts University on a full scholarship, was appointed the student commander of the United States Air Force ROTC, and afterward enrolled at New York University for meteorology training. He was assigned to Castle Air Force Base in Merced, Calif. When discharged from the Air Force, Bill chose Boston University School of Law—again on full scholarship—where he was elected editor in chief of the Boston University Law Review. In 1966, he moved his young family to Burlington, Vt., and proudly served as the first clerk for United States District Judge Bernard Leddy. His legal career in Burlington lasted until his retirement in the early 2000s. He had practiced in both state and federal courts.

Besides cherishing his home state of Vermont and Lake Champlain vistas, Bill loved skiing at Stowe Mountain and in the west, tennis, time on the lake in his wooden Chris Craft and summers on Martha’s Vineyard with friends and family. Ranking high on his special list—besides spending time with his grandsons—were his crazy Delta Upsilon brothers, with whom close relationships were maintained through legendary wild reunions in Woods Hole and Falmouth, Mass. These frat bros kept one another young.

Bill was a wonderful, funny, brave, honest and stalwart human.

He is predeceased by his first family, which included wife, Susan Hurd, son, Aaron Quinn, and his daughter, Micaela Quinn; and his two brothers, Charles and Bob. Surviving Bill are his wife, Jane Ropulewis-Shaw; stepson Josh Shaw and wife, Tiffany, of New Haven, Vt.; stepson Sepp Shaw and wife, Mandy, of Portland, Ore., and their two sons (Bill and Jane’s treasured grandsons), Gavin and Jack Shaw; nephew, Shawn Quinn, and wife, Sam, of Essex Junction, Vt., and their two sons, Jonathan and Cameron; nieces, Caren of Essex Junction, Vt., Pam LaPierre of San Jose, Calif., Wendy Mattos of Worcester, Mass.; Hilary McGuire of West Chester, Penn., and Kirsten Nagiba of Colchester, Vt.

As a man who didn't want much fuss to be made over him, there will not be a formal service, but there will be a gathering of friends and family to honor Bill at the Quinn/Shaw home on his birthday, May 21, 2023.

Our family wishes to extend to the special angels of the University of Vermont Home Health & Hospice—and to friends too numerous to name—our overwhelming gratitude for the love and support during this difficult time. Amongst the most significant of those, besides our perfect neighbors, are Dr. Susanna Thach and her nurse, Carly, both who practice empathy with every breath.

Should anyone care to honor Bill—in addition to holding him dear—we would suggest donations to the University of Vermont Home Health and Hospice and/or Lyric Theatre.

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