Andora Joubert Quinby

Andora Joubert Quinby Mentor, friend, athletic champion, teacher, scholar, and mother Andora Joubert Quinby passed away peacefully October 26th in her sleep following a recent stroke. At the time of her passing, she was surrounded by the love of her family and close friends at the Abington Hospice in Warminster, Pennsylvania. She was most recently a resident of Brightview Senior Living in East Norriton. She was born September 12, 1918 in Portland, Oregon, the eldest child of the late Lloyd Perry and Mary Clarinda Joubert. She was preceded in death by her son Michael, by her husband of 59 years, Gilbert Farrand Quinby, and her sister Priscilla Schwejda of Forest Grove, Oregon. Andora was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, enjoying an active and satisfying spiritual life for over 50 years as a congregant of Holy Trinity Church in Lansdale, and more recently, Saint Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Blue Bell. She was a prodigiously high achiever in the community, yet saw spirituality and prayer as the true pathway to happiness, change and accomplishment. She had a unique zest for achievement and fun in life, and was a lifelong and determined academic and athlete. A kind and loving person, her New Year's resolution this year was to "do something kind every day, learn one new thing every day, and give a compliment to someone every day." As a young woman, she was an accomplished performing artist, singing, dancing and acting in amateur opera and musicals, and performing as a ballerina. She was a lifelong supporter of the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Her legendary passion for music, fitness and learning was passed on to her seven children and their families, as well as countless colleagues and friends. We are forever grateful for her role modeling of independence and strength, for her encouragement and love, and for her persistent faith in our abilities and character. She encouraged close and loving sibling relationships between her children which persist today, stretching across the continent. After receiving her BS degree in physics from Oregon State University (then College) in 1942, she joined the war effort, working as a physicist in Seattle and Brooklyn for several years. While raising seven children, she brought innovation, commitment, skill and dedication to her 30 year career as a swim instructor, strength training coach and Aquatic Director for the North Penn YMCA. Andora taught two generations of North Penn residents to swim. She had a knack for helping people overcome their fear of the water. She was a pioneer instructor of Waterbabies in the 1960s, a controversial teaching strategy at that time. Andora served as a role model for countless people of all ages, proving that there is no such thing as being too old to live your dreams. Her love of lifelong learning inspired her to receive her Associates degree in Human Services from Montgomery County Community College in 1991, followed by the Master of Human Services degree from Lincoln University, and the post-graduate Advanced Certificate in Gerontology certificate in 1995, at the age of 78. She was a lifelong member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and Phi Beta Kappa. She received an honorary doctorate degree from the Jameson College branch of Chesapeake Bay University in 2009. At age 79, Andora discovered extreme joy and challenge in strength training and quickly entered the competitive circuit. By age 89, through fierce and determined discipline, she became the national champion in her age group in the conventional and trap dead lift. For this amazing accomplishment, she was featured on CNN news, and received a "Silver Star" award from the Silver Planet, a web-based elder care services company. Thanks to her committed coaches associated with the North Penn YMCA's LaCrest Center, and her dedicated caregiver, Caromea Batista, she continued to work out regularly until just one month before her death. She is survived by her sister, Rosemary Bump (Forrest) of Forest Grove, Oregon; and seven children, James Lloyd Quinby (Roi Crouch) of Ashland, OR, Randolph Carter Quinby (Marietta) of Sellersville, PA, William Alan Quinby (Mona) of Reno, NV, Presila Quinby (Bil Leonhart) of Ashland, OR, Andora Quinby Campbell of Ambler, PA, Rosemary Katherine Quinby (Mark Cates) of Seattle, Washington, and Caroline Quinby Rush (Randy) of Boulder, Colorado. Her bright and energetic spirit also lives on through many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Dear Mom, sister, aunt and friend - we love you so. Though we now long for your presence just for one more moment, we will surely heal in the memory of your sweetness, inspiration and light. Your life embodied your favorite biblical quote from Luke 12:48: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." Relatives and friends may call between 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, November 2, 2012 at Huff & Lakjer Funeral Home, 701 Derstine Ave., Lansdale. The Funeral Service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, November 3 at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, 750 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell. Interment will follow in Whitemarsh Memorial Park. Donations in memory of Andora J. Quinby may be made to the North Penn YMCA, 608 E. Main St., Lansdale, PA 19446.

Published in Montgomery Newspapers on Nov. 2, 2012