R Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home & Crematory
3530 49Th St N
Saint Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 527-1177
More Obituaries for NANCY QUINN
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?


Obituary Condolences

QUINN, Nancy Died peacefully at the age of 85 in the emergency room of St. Anthony's Hospital, with her two loyal caregivers of over 30 years, Donna Campbell and Ruth Benner by her side on August 31st. A graduate of Newton High School and LaSalle College, she was just married and on her honeymoon when she was struck by polio at the age of 22. Nancy spent a year in an iron lung, completely paralyzed. During this period of pain and despair she was taught to breathe in a rocking bed and eventually to breathe on her own with a respirator at night. Two years later Nancy was accepted at the Polio Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Warm Springs, Georgia, established by the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This was a turning point in her life. She and her husband, George Quinn, moved to neighboring La Grange, Georgia, where she spent the next few years in a grueling eight hour daily training program in the pool and on machines, as her therapists tried to find a working muscle in her paralyzed body. She was eventually fitted to a special wheelchair with mechanical devices to take fullest advantage of a slight movement in her right hand. She learned to hold a fork, comb her hair, brush her teeth and eventually to use a typewriter and a pen to write again. Nancy had always been artistic and soon took up a paintbrush with the aid of ball bearings at her elbow; friends donated funds for her to take the Famous Artists Course, and as she progressed, she submitted paintings to the Sister Kenny Annual Art Competition, frequently winning "First Prize". And despite her impossible circumstances, Nancy became a prolific and accomplished painter. She began exhibiting and selling her work, and started a small business selling greeting cards of her paintings. She returned to her parent's home in Auburndale, Massachusetts as a divorcee, and worked to support herself with her painting. When her father died, she and her mother moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, but within weeks of the move her mother died, leaving Nancy completely on her own. The story of Nancy's life is one of great courage, indomitable spirit, determination, patience, and pride. On her own, with the help of friends and dedicated care-givers, she has managed to survive more than sixty years of polio paralysis - a nightmare of pain, despair, loneliness, and grief. In spite of everything, she lived a life of dignity and grace, and said that her unsung heroes were the loyal caregivers who devoted so many years looking after her in difficult and demanding situations. Nancy was ready to say goodbye and thank you to all. A bright star has joined the galaxy in the sky. A Memorial Service will be held in early December in St. Petersburg, FL. Contact Williams Funeral Home for details 727-527-1177. To view obit and leave condolences, please visit: http://www.rlwilliams.com/
Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 4, 2016
Read More