After a lifetime in Fairfield advocating for veterans, Thomas Quinn, 'a true public servant,' dies

Photo of Katrina Koerting

FAIRFIELD — Local leaders are remembering and thanking lifelong resident Thomas Quinn for his lasting contributions. Quinn died April 26 at the age of 79, leaving behind a long legacy of public service.

First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick called Quinn a “true public servant.”

“Tom was an integral part of the Fairfield community who showed an unwavering desire to give back to the town he loved dearly,” she said.

Kupchick ordered the flags to fly at half-mast last week in honor of him and in recognition of all of his positive contributions to the town.

Quinn graduated from Fairfield Prep and Fairfield University. He and his wife of 56 years, Grace Quinn, raised their six sons in town.

“Fairfield has lost a man who embodies the community’s heart and spirit — a true example of why I love living in this town,” said state Sen. Tony Hwang.

Quinn served as Bridgeport’s assistant treasurer before spending more than 30 years with General Foods, Kraft and Rich Products. But his passions lay in public service, according to his obituary.

As an Army veteran, he was an active member of American Legion Post 143 and was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in 2017.

“A past Post Commander, Tom arranged for local veterans to speak at various elementary schools, helped plan the Memorial Day Parades, Independence and Veterans Days ceremonies, helped organize 9/11 remembrance dinners and assisted the town with the Veteran’s Wall of Honor,” Kupchick said. “It is no wonder he received the 2017 Fairfielder of the Year award.”

Quinn was a passionate advocate for veterans in his community, fighting to secure money and support to meet their needs. He coordinated fundraisers for veterans, led town memorial services and celebrations and regularly served on the funeral honor guard.

“He was also chairman multiple times of Fairfield’s annual Memorial Day parade, which held a special place in his heart both for the recognition of military service and the different youth organizations and bands that marched in the annual event,” according to his obituary.

The parade blended two of his passions: supporting veterans and the youth of Fairfield.

Quinn also served as building committee chairman for three elementary school projects.

“He took great pride in his work on behalf of the students and faculty of each of the schools and was deeply touched by the personal relationship he had with everyone at those schools and throughout all the town departments, including all the emergency response personnel,” according to his obituary.

Kupchick said Quinn “was a vital link to our town’s well-being.”

He was also active in Scouts, the Citizen Police Academy and Our Lady of the Assumption Church, she said.

“Above all else, Tom was a family man,” Kupchick said, adding he was a devoted husband and proud father who cherished his 10 grandchildren.

“His support of his family included many years as Cub Scout leader, Little League coach, as well as being a fixture at Warde High School football games and wrestling matches,” his obituary reads. “Despite business travel, he seldom missed a school function or concert as family came first.”

Hwang described Quinn as “both a family man and a dedicated serviceman” who served the town in countless ways.

“Fairfield will benefit from the hard work of Tom Quinn for generations to come and we are so fortunate to have had such a wonderful man with us for 79 years,” Hwang said. “My thoughts are with the Quinn family as they remember the incredible life Tom led.”