John Quinn

Obituary of John Francis Quinn

John Francis Quinn (Jack) was born September 2, 1937, to Irish Immigrants John, a San Francisco Fireman, and Margaret (Loftus) Quinn, a housewife in San Francisco, CA. Jack was the oldest, a job he took seriously, becoming a mentor for his brother Mike and sister Helen. Jack grew up roaming the hills of San Francisco, creating memories with friends and family. He had many stories of delivering papers at age 11 in a car that only went in reverse with his little brother sitting shotgun, piloting his flex flyer down hills and under street cars, sneaking into 49er games at Kezar stadium, taking road trips with school buddies, and spending summers with the Regli family in Ferndale. Jack graduated from Riordan High School in SF in 1955; he always held a special place in his heart for his time and lifelong friendships made during his high school years. 


In 1963, there was a need for a carpenter to restore St. Patrick's Catholic Church in a small town in the California foothills. Jack answered and began his lifelong love and service to Jackson. Soon after moving to Jackson, he caught the eye of a young teacher, Martha Hospenthal. Jack and Martha married in 1965 and purchased their family home on Center Street. They started their family the following year by welcoming the first of three children, John (Jennifer), followed by Patricia and Bernie (Shaun).


Jack was multi-faceted, having various interests and talents. He completed renovating the church and began a long career in the Amador County Assessor’s office, retiring as Chief Appraiser. His most proud accomplishment was his 38-year career in the Jackson Fire Department. This was his second full-time career and his true calling. He began as a volunteer fireman in 1966 and became the Chief in 1994.  In his 38 years of service, he went on over 20,000 calls and led strike teams for Wildland fires throughout California.  He loved the people he served and the firefighters he served with.


Jack and his good friend Carl Podesta saw a need in the community and started Christmas to Remember, raising money and working through the schools for children with unmet needs. This became a huge community fundraiser and helped many families and children. He was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church and devoted to St. Patrick’s, Holy Name Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Amador Juvenile Justice, Amador Hospital Board, Jackson Band Boosters, and Amador County Livestock Committee. In 1994, he was selected as the Amador County Peace Officer’s Citizen of the Year. 


Jack was a great father. He always made time to lend a hand or offer advice to his three children, John, Patricia, and Bernie. His support for his wife, Martha, as she ran the pool for 47 years was evident to all who knew them. They will carry on Jack’s good works. 


In 1992, he became a grandfather to John Kyle,” followed by Karli, Riley, and Joseph” JAQ.” Jack and Martha were fixtures at the grandkids' activities, sports games, and livestock shows, and he proudly attended all four of his grandkids' college graduations in Texas, California, and Oklahoma.


Jack's widespread influence on the Jackson Community cannot be summed up in words, he was selfless, never met a stranger, and treated friends as family and family as friends.  He always made time for people, a quick visit, a cup of coffee, a handshake, a tour of the fire station, or the grandkids favorite, ice cream! Everyone feels important and loved.  He touched many people’s lives with his quiet influence, mentorship and living example of his unwavering faith that Jackson is a better place and will always have his footprint on it.


Jack was preceded in death by his parents, John and Margaret, sister Helen, brother Mike, and stepmother Patricia. Godspeed, Jack!


Services and celebration of Jack’s life include a vigil held on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 6:00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Jackson, CA with a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 10:30a.m. at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Jackson, CA. Interment will take place at Jackson Catholic Cemetery. Donations to honor Jack and all those he touched can be made to the St Vincent De Paul Society, Amador Stars, and the St. Patrick’s Society.

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6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
St. Patrick Catholic Church
115 Court Street
Jackson, California, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Thursday, April 11, 2024
St. Katharine Drexel Parish
11361 Prospect Dr
Jackson, California, United States

Graveside Service

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Jackson Catholic Cemetery
Jackson, California, United States
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