Rodney Sharon Quinn

Obituary
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  • "I had Secretary of State Rodney Quinn for many of my..."
    - Milton Truman
  • "The Quinns were Gorham neighbors during my childhood there..."
    - David R. Anderson
  • "Fond Memories: From our children growing up on Green St..."
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    - Tom Allen
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    - Howard Faulkner
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Rodney Sharon
Quinn, 89
SCARBOROUGH -- Rodney, aged 89, died on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, easily and apparatus free at the Gosnell Hospice House, in Scarborough.
Born in 1923, he was raised and schooled in Gorham. As a boy, Rodney lived with his mother, Edith, who ran a boarding house for boys, attending the Gorham Normal School. Everyday Rodney was dismissed from school at lunch time for an hour to help his mother mash potatoes and serve afternoon meal.
After high school graduation, an accomplishment he credits entirely to his mother's interest, he joined the Army Air Corps. He flew with the Flying Tigers in China during WWII and served as commander of an air transport squadron during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed in the Far East, Alaska, and at several posts in the U.S., one of which was the Pentagon, where he received a commendation for his dealings with foreign nuclear intelligence during the Vietnam War.
During his 27 military years he earned his bachelor's degree from Sacramento State and his master's degree from Stanford University. He retired as Lt. Col. returning home from the Air Force in 1968. There he served on the Town Council for six years. Rodney felt his greatest achievements in local government were constructing housing for the elderly and a new town center with a modern fire station. In 1974 he was elected as the representative from Gorham to the State Legislature for two terms, and subsequently served as Secretary of the State Maine for ten years. He developed a model for drunk driving programs that were later adopted nationally.
He became a major political figure in the Democratic party in Maine. He believed in effective government as a partial solution for man's problems. He believed that the future of mankind lies in his own hand and those who could had a responsibility to help
their fellow man, a belief that motivated him both personally and professionally. His interest and influence in politics continued for the rest of his life, including the writing of a weekly column of political satire for a local paper.
Rodney was a voracious reader and authored several books. His works include his memoirs of Gorham, Cliff Island, WWII in China and a historical novel on Barbarosa and the rise of naval warfare of the Ottoman Empire.
He personally enjoyed teaching and held positions at the University of Maryland, William and Mary, Old Dominion and Armed Forces Staff College in Virginia, University of Maine and Cheverus High School.
His wife of 65 years, Melba, passed two weeks earlier, also at the Gosnell House. His legacy lives on in the hearts of his children and their families: Roy and Nika Quinn of Saco, Sharon Quinn of Westbrook, Kathleen and Bob Gartland of Biddeford, and Kelly and Matt Purinton of South Portland. There are 10 grandchildren and nine great- grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at the First Parish Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Gorham, on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, at 2 p.m., with a reception immediately following at the Old Methodist Church, 29 School St., Gorham.
For remembrances,
rather than flowers, he would be pleased with a donation to:
Hospice of Southern Maine
180 U.S. #1
Scarborough, Maine 04074
Rodney Sharon
Quinn

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 31, 2012
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army bullet Vietnam War bullet World War II