It is with great sadness that I write to tell everyone that my father – Gene Sr. – passed away on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at approximately 7am. He is now with my mother, who passed away five years ago.
My father missed my mother so much. I couldn’t even begin to describe his grief at her passing. I invited him to come live with me in Virginia after my mother passed, and repeatedly in the five years since, but he steadfastly (and politely) declined. He visited the cemetery where my mother is buried every day, typically for several hours, just sitting there talking with her and the friends he made who worked at the cemetery. One of his friends at the cemetery told me after he passed: “He never wanted to leave, and now he doesn’t have to, he can just stay with your mother forever.”
My father is where he wanted to be his entire adult life, by my mother’s side. He is at peace now I know, but I miss him so much. The pain has been overwhelming. I loved my father SO very much. He will be missed more than any words can possibly describe. He was my friend and so much more. While we didn’t always see eye to eye, and we would argue more than we should have, there was a comfort knowing I could always talk to him about anything and everything. Whenever I was struggling and just needed my dad he was always there.
My father always being there really sums up my entire relationship with him perfectly. When I was a kid, before I moved out of the house, we were nearly inseparable. We did absolutely everything together. Whatever I was interested in, he was interested in. When I was taking karate lessons he would take me and sit there and watch, at first one or two days a week. Then as I approached black belt I would practice seven days a week, several in Brooklyn, New York, which from our home in Freehold, New Jersey was at least an hour one-way. On those nights we’d have dinner together, drive and talk, I’d practice and then we’d return home together. We were always together.
My father also coached little league baseball from the time I started until the time I stopped playing about 10 years later. He continued to coach baseball after I stopped playing, and spent many years as President of the local little league. He did the same thing with the local soccer club, coaching me for 10+ years and continuing on even after I stopped playing, coaching nieces and nephews. He was enthusiastically dedicated to youth sports for much of his adult life until walking became a challenge. Even then he could still be spotted watching his grandchildren play soccer every weekend arriving at the field with his motorized wheelchair.
While my father did not really understand the law, he would always ask how my business was doing and if my career was going well. He’d ask about my website and if it was doing good. I’d tell him I was doing well, but in the months prior to his death one of his friends happened to look me up and told my father about the level of my successes. On a recent visit my father told that he hadn’t realize everything his friend read to him, but that he was very happy and proud of the success I had achieved. At the funeral mass and cemetery many of his friends came up to me to tell me how much my father loved me, which I knew, but also to tell me how proud he was of me and how he talked about me all the time. Although he may not understand patent law, I find a particular happiness in the fact that my father passed knowing that I had achieved a certain level of success.
Sadly, I do not have the kind of stories to share about the final days of my father’s life that I had to share about my mother when she passed. About two weeks prior to my father passing he became suddenly and inexplicably delusional. He started hallucinating as well. It was as if he had suddenly developed advanced dementia. We got him to the hospital, but no doctors could figure out the origin of his condition. I spoke with him, which he did not always remember. Renee was able to get through to him best in those final days and she was able to have the best conversations with him, right up until several days before he passed.
We were discussing long term placement for my father, who other than being confused seemed to be in relatively good health. Then on Sunday, July 9, 2017, everything changed. My father was seemingly fine at 8:30am. He took his medicine, and did not complain of any pains. Sometime that afternoon he was found unresponsive and was placed on a breathing tube because his advanced directive was somewhat unclear, being possibly verbally modified with his doctor in the final days. Somehow he went from being OK, albeit confused, at 8:30am to severe septic shock and on life support by 3pm on July 9. Renee and I raced to the hospital. He showed signs of improvement, which by Monday evening faded. Decisions under his advanced directive fell to me, which is a weight of extraordinary burden even knowing what he wanted.
In the days since his passing I have felt the overwhelming desire to call him and talk to him one more time, which is identical to what I experienced when my mother passed. The need to express to him what he meant to me is almost overpowering. I guess I also didn’t realize just how many small conversations I had with my father, who could always be reached. Hear a story on the radio and pick up the phone to call. We talked about sports often. I’d tell him about my travel, where I’d been and where I was going next. But one of the things we spoke about with great frequency was cooking. All of my best recipes came from him. I’ve modified them slightly over the years, which he approved and even said made them better he thought. I will miss those simple conversations, about nothing particularly important, that meant so very much.
In so many ways I am my father’s son. I can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me. I only hope he knew the depth of my love for him.
I love you Dad! I’ll see you again when this trip here is over.
Eugene R. Quinn, Sr.
AGE 79 • FREEHOLD
Eugene R. Quinn, Sr., 79, a lifelong resident of Freehold, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Gene was a devoted Catholic who regularly attended daily mass, and dedicated much of his adult life to youth sports, serving as President of the Freehold Boro Little League. After his wife, Mary, passed in 2012, he would spend hours a day visiting her and now his final resting place is right where he has always wanted to be — by her side.
He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Eugene Jr. and Renee of Waterford, VA; daughter Sara Ayers of Toms River; sister Patricia of Florida; and grandchildren Ryan and Victoria Ayers, and Joseph Compasso-Quinn.
A Catholic service was held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13, 2017, at St. Rose of Lima Church, Freehold. A graveside service followed at St. Rose of LIma Cemetery, Freehold. Arrangements were under the direction of Freeman Funeral Home, Freehold.