Lois Quinn; 1933-2013: Catholic school teacher stitched prayer blankets


Lois Quinn, a former Catholic school teacher in East and South Toledo, died Thursday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo after a years-long struggle with cancer. She was 80.

She taught second grade for eight years at St. Thomas Aquinas in East Toledo and preschool for eight years at St. Charles Borromeo in South Toledo, as well as substitute teaching for Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Toledo.

She also taught religion classes at OLPH for public-school children for 25 years, and she was a Girl Scout leader.

The former Lois Wuest married Daniel Quinn in 1958. Before the couple started raising their own family, they were foster parents for a number of children and adopted one child.

As a teen, the adopted child returned to her birth family. But Mrs. Quinn maintained contact with her and helped provide for her when she had a family of her own, said the Quinns’ daughter Cheryl Schramm.

Mrs. Schramm said her mother made prayer blankets in recent years while battling a recurrence of cancer from her 40s.

She and two friends and her sister, Mary, made more than 500 blankets that they donated to hospital patients and others.

They would stitch together two pieces of fleece and then cut fringes. With each cut of the fringe they said a Hail Mary. The blanket would then be blessed by Mr. Quinn, an ordained deacon at OLPH.

“She tried to be a friend to everyone. Very caring and compassionate,” Mrs. Schramm said.

Deacon Quinn said his wife got requests from out of town, so they boxed them up and sent them off.

“She just wanted to reach out to people. She’s been giving them to people she feels need them and then people have been asking for them,” Mr. Quinn said.

He said she wouldn’t sell the blankets or take money, but accepted contributions of fleece cloth.

Mrs. Quinn survived breast cancer in the early 1980s, then was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2007 that spread, her husband said.

She underwent X-ray and oral medical treatment until May of this year when she stopped treatment because it caused more distress than it was worth, he said.

Mrs. Quinn suffered a seizure Nov. 17 from which she did not recover.

She graduated from St. Ursula Academy in Toledo. After high school, she took courses to qualify for and maintain her teaching certificate, Mr. Quinn said.

He said she taught at St. Thomas, her grade-school alma mater, in the 1950s until they started a family, then at St. Charles for eight years in the 1980s, where she established the preschool program.

The family moved from East Toledo to the OLPH parish in 1970.

After having twins — daughters Carol and Cheryl — Mrs. Quinn joined the Toledo chapter of the Twins Club, winning the Mother of Twins of the Year award in 1972.

Surviving are her husband, Daniel; sons, Kevin and Ken, daughters, Karen Sarnoski, Carol Bates, and Cheryl Schramm; sister, Mary Obert; brothers, Howard, Bill, Jerry, Jim, Bob, and Tom Wuest, and nine grandchildren.

Visitation is 2 to 8 p.m. today at Coyle Funeral Home, where a Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. The funeral Mass is 10 a.m Monday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The family suggests tributes to OLPH.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.