Obituary of Emma Laura Reese Quinn
Emma Laura Reese Quinn was mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to all who knew her. Her infectious smile, strong will, faith and devotion to family and the world of small business was second to none.
Emma was born in a house on North Church Street in Charlotte on January 4, 1923. She would have been 97 this January.
She loved to dance. As a teen, Emma was a skilled ballerina and during WWII, she danced regularly with soldiers at USO events at Camp Green.
Emma was Salutatorian at Central High School but did not go to college due to her family. However, her husband Bill, encouraged her to get her longed-for college degree decades later, when she was in her 50’s. One of her proudest days was when she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Queens College in 1980, three years after her daughter.
Emma was a champion for education, entrepreneurs and women in business. She ran the adult education center for Queens, then the Women’s Career Center and Small Business Center at CPCC for more than 25 years.
The City/County recognized her achievements by proclaiming July 27, 1998 as Emma Quinn Day. She helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start their own small businesses. She asked each one: “Have you written a solid business plan?” She wrote a weekly column for the Charlotte Business Journal called “Ask Emma”, answering questions about, and for, small business.
Emma founded the Charlotte Women Business Owners Association (NAWBO) because she believed that women business owners needed opportunities to network when the usual paths were closed to them. She served on the City’s MWBE Advisory Committee, West Charlotte Business Incubator and Board of the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council because she also believed in equal opportunity.
Emma faced many difficulties and obstacles in her life, but never took “no” for an answer. She said her motto and theme song was “My Way”. She and Bill had their own small business and didn’t retire until they reached their mid-80’s. “Quinn Business Services” was the association manager for NARI and the Metrolina World Trade Association.
Emma’s life was changed by two amazing men: her brother-in-law Joe Boyarsky, who took her in until she could meet the love of her life, husband Bill, who became her life partner for almost 70 years. Emma and Bill taught their children the value of loyalty, family and hard work and we are grateful. Emma is survived by her husband of 69 years, J. William (Bill) Quinn and their children, Patrick C. Quinn (Frances) of Concord; Moira Quinn Klein (Robert); Ceil Quinn Tart; and William F. Quinn (Jeannie) of Austin, TX; grandchildren Charles Quinn (Katie); Kevin Quinn (Kaylyssa); Joel Quinn; Devin Klein (Heidi); David Klein (Kate); Gillian Tart Snyder (Lou); Avery Tart; Joe Wolfe (Kaylee); Jennifer Carreon (Sarah Shaney); Steven Carreon (Catherine); 8 great-grandchildren; and her companion cat Holly.
The family would like to thank Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region and Chanta Kromah, LuAnn Lee, Robert Klein and Lise McStravick for their care and friendship.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region or to St. Gabriel Catholic Church.
The family will receive friends Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 3016 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 followed by a funeral mass at 2:00 pm. Interment will be at Sharon Memorial Park, 5400 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28212 immediately following the service.
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