LACONIA ---- John Wilson Quinnam was born in Weeks Mills, a village in Maine, attended a one-room elementary school and Erskine Academy. In 1941 after Pearl Harbor was attacked, he joined the United States Army. After basic training and courses at Princeton University, he became a radio operator on “crash boats,” high-speed rescue boats sent out to find downed pilots at sea. Operations were often harrowing, especially during storms, but the crew was elated when the airmen were found and brought safely on board.
After the war, John enrolled at George Washington University, majoring in economics, then worked for 12 years in investment banking. Deciding to switch careers, he then enrolled at Syracuse University, earning a master’s degree in library science. Moving to New York City, he took a job as reference librarian in the Queens Public Library. There he met and married Emily, a high-school librarian, whom he lived with for 48 years. They spent many weekends and holidays at their retreat home in the Catskills. They also loved to travel. Favorite destinations were Copenhagen, Singapore and Istanbul.
After Emily’s passing, John returned to New England and joined the Taylor Community in Laconia, New Hampshire, moving into a spacious, sunny apartment. At Tuesday and Thursday dinners, John quickly made friends, and, despite the restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic, enjoyed the company of several good friends, celebrating, playing games, and sharing special meals--not to mention the martinis. John read the Wall Street Journal each day, often sharing articles that interested him, and he kept his own financial accounts.
On February 2, 2022, John turned 100. He celebrated with his friends and cousins at a dinner party at one of his favorite restaurants.
On June 17 he suffered multiple organ failure and was taken to the Concord Hospital-Laconia. After stabilization, he was transferred to a hospice unit of the hospital, where he was lovingly cared for until he died a few days later. He is missed by his close friends in Laconia, the staff of Taylor Community, and his cousins, including Rebecca and Benjamin Jacques of Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Donna Rae Quinnam of Silver Spring, Maryland.
At this time there will be no services.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services and 603Cremations.com, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, please visit www.wilkinsonbeane.com.