Joseph Murray Quinn passed away at his Independence residence on Dec. 29, 2018, at the age of 88. He was born Jan. 22, 1930, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Issac Odom Quinn and Charlotte Dorsey of Bogalusa, Louisiana. Since age 3, he was raised in Long Beach, California, by his grandparents, Charlotte and Mayrant Dorsey, also formerly of Bogalusa.
He graduated from Woodard Wilson High School, and attended Long Beach City College. In Southern California, he was an ardent swimmer and surfer, an active Boy Scout and cyclist.
Quinn served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Japan and on an aircraft carrier with the Attack Squadron 125. Following the Navy, he worked under civilian contract in the Marshall Islands, South Pacific.
His undergraduate work was at Mexico City College (now, the Universidad de las Americas, Puebla), where he received his B.A. in Art, minor in archaeology, in 1959. During his three and half years in Mexico, he lived in a small village (Cuajimalpa) in the mountains above Mexico City.
Quinn lived in Spokane, Washington, from 1960 to 1968, before attending Washington State University. He received his Master’s Degree from the School of Speech and Communications, Department of Theatre, WSU, Pullman, Washington, in 1970.
Much of Quinn’s career has been in art, primarily theatre. He taught Theatre Arts at OSU. and the University of Portland, and summer workshops at Spokane Community College and Holy Names Academy. He has designed stage scenery for, among many others, Gonzaga University, the Seattle Opera Association, and lighting for the Portland Opera Association, and scenery for the State Ballet of Oregon. He served as Designer and Technical Director for the Spokane Concert Ballet Productions.
Quinn was the founding director for the Oakland Gaslight Players Inc., the Umpqua Valley Community Theatre (UACT) Inc. (Roseburg), founder and Artistic Director of Northwest Arena Theatre Inc. (later becoming the NW Actors Theatre, Inc., Spokane). He has served as Trustee with the Theatre Northwest Inc., (a Univ. of Washington playwriting group), and on the Douglas County Planning Committee (Oregon) for the State-wide Exp ’86 booth in Vancouver, B.C. He was co-owner of the Oakland Studio of Ballet, and he has sponsored and toured 14 out-of-state ballet companies into Oregon.
Quinn, along with a co-worker, surveyed the historical homes in Oakland, Oregon, resulting in this town being designated as the first Historical District in Oregon.
Throughout his career, Quinn’s artistic endeavors included painting, working in oils, acrylics, and watercolor and silk screening and woodcarving (baroque scrolls style).
Quinn is survived by his daughter, Tami Fox, two grandchildren, Kasey and Krystal, one great-grandson, Camden, and his long-term companion of many years, Sheila T. Nelson.
A Celebration of Life was held Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Farnstrom Mortuary, Independence. Memories and condolences may be shared at FarnstromMortuary.com.