Angel of Kingston finds a new home

KINGSTON — The angel that looked over the Little City By The Sea for nearly 20 years is now looking upon her community from another place.

Sammy Quinn died Dec. 30, 2003 at the Northwoods Lodge in Silverdale. She was 80.

The woman who was at every community event she could possibly get herself to and collected every angel and teddy bear in sight, was a local treasure herself, as the community respected and supported Quinn since she moved to the community in 1988.

Quinn came to Kingston with her husband Lee after more than 10 years of sailing on their boat, the “Playboy,” between Kingston and their home in North Seattle.

They would visit with Kingston residents, the Kenboks, who eventually helped the Quinns establish their home in the community in the late 1980s.

“She was a sweet lady,” said Shirley Kenbok, who recalled boating with the couple since the 1970s.

The relocation got off to a bad start when Lee was killed in an accident right as the couple moved to Kingston. Quinn was left a widow.

After Lee’s death, it took confidence and strength to continue like Quinn did, said close friend Roddy Reynolds.

“It took fortitude for her to continue and finish moving in and build a life here,” she explained.

Since moving to the community, Quinn became an integral part of Kingston through many community groups, including the Kingston Cove Yacht Club, Kingston Garden Club, Tiny Town, Widow and Widowers, Greater Kingston Kiwanis and Kingston Revitalization Association.

Quinn was also instrumental in the establishment of the Kingston chapter of the Red Hat (Red Hot Mommas) Society with the late Phyllis Fairchild within the last two years. The Mommas became so popular that groups had to break off and form in Poulsbo and Hansville, Reynolds said.

Quinn also played the role of “Sammy Claus” during the community’s annual holiday event, Kingston Country Christmas, and other holiday events around town.

Quinn was known to many others as she reported the ongoings of the North Kitsap community in her weekly column in the North Kitsap Herald, “Roamin’ Around.” She often wrote about her family, her “four-legged friend” Mollie Sue and many of her friends from all over the Kitsap Peninsula.

Quinn’s career included working in sales and modeling for Butler Brothers at Northgate Mall in Seattle, Reynolds said. She was also an executive secretary for the Foreign Food Import Company.

One of Quinn’s passions was theatre, as evident by her involvement with the former Kingston group, Little Theatre (now the Roving Players) as well as her constant support of Poulsbo’s Jewel Box Theatre.

“She maybe could hardly walk but she would come hell or high water,” Reynolds said about Quinn’s attendance to theatre performances.

Reynolds also revealed a little known fact that Quinn was a painter. Quinn’s house was filled with framed oil paintings of seascapes and waterscenes that she had created.

While both Quinn and Reynolds enjoyed boats and the water, “she and I are terrible navigators,” Reynolds said with a laugh.

Reynolds recalled a time when the women went to Olympic College for a play, but forgot where they parked the car after the show. They were eventually picked up by a couple who drove them around to find their car.

“That’s how bad we are,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said her favorite things about Quinn were her sense of style and her caring nature.

“She was such a lady. She was elegant,” Reynolds said. “She loved animals and birds and nature in all phases.”

Quinn also remembered those who helped her through difficult times.

“She never forgot acts of friendship,” Reynolds said. “She remembered kindness.”

Even during the battle through illnesses, surgeries and many visits to the hospital, Quinn always stayed upbeat with a ready smile and a joke.

“She just never let people know what constant pain she was in,” Reynolds said.

Memorial contributions may be made to the North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (Blaze Fund) at NKF&R Household Fund or Firefighter’s Community Partnership Fund c/o North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 41 Kingston, WA, 98346 or the Kingston Senior Center, Kingston, WA.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Kingston Christian Church, 26166 E. 2nd St. A reception will follow at 2 p.m. at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club.

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