J.P. Duniphan and Don Frankenfeld will join many of the late John Quinn's friends at his funeral services on Wednesday to pay tribute to a man who will be remembered for both his "brilliant" mind and his cheerful personality.
Quinn, 69, died unexpectedly Jan. 14, just months after leaving his position as campus executive officer at National American University in Rapid City. At the time of his death, Quinn was busy planning new business ventures in Asia, a part of the world he loved and looked forward to spending time in again.
"It was so sudden," Duniphan said of Quinn's death. She first met Quinn in college and renewed their friendship when he and his wife, Monika, returned to live in Rapid City, Quinn's hometown, about 15 years ago.
"He was my campaign manager in a couple of elections," said Duniphan, a former state legislator. "John was such a brilliant mind. He just had a great overall political mind and a business mind that was tremendous."
After working on Wall Street and in global investing for 28 years, Quinn became a college professor, administrator, professional speaker, author, newspaper columnist and television commentator specializing in investments and economic advice.
Frankenfeld has been a friend and colleague of Quinn's since their schooldays at Canyon Lake Elementary.
"Our lives had similar trajectories: Canyon Lake School, RCHS, Yale, and ultimately back home to Rapid City. I enjoyed our frequent discussions and occasional friendly arguments about politics or economics," Frankenfeld said.
A 1961 graduate of and debater at Rapid City High School, Quinn went on to debate at Yale University, where he sparred verbally with a classmate, the future U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
Judy (Brockelsby) Oldham, a fellow RCHS debate alumni, remembers Quinn as an "excellent debater" and a fun co-worker at her family's Reptile Gardens in their youth.
"He sold tickets with me at Reptile Gardens, and he sold a lot of them. He was a good talker," Oldham said. "He was always so very upbeat and friendly."
Quinn was on staff at NAU in various capacities for about 10 years.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rapid City.