William H. Quinby

William H. Quinby

William H. Quinby

Cedar Rapids

William Hay Quinby, 92, of Cedar Rapids, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 20, 2024 at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House after a week of family and friends surrounding and embracing him with love and friendship.

Bill is survived by his children Kathy Quinby Victoria, MN, David Quinby (Karen) Wayzata, MN, and Karen Delaney (Mike) Robins, IA. Grandchildren, Becky Quinby (Gracie Hyland), JD Quinby (Abbey), Scott Quinby (Elena), Sarah and Leeza Johnson, Morgan, Emma (Ben), Claire, and Jack Delaney. Great-grandchildren Millie, Alma and Fitz Hyland and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Janis, his eldest son, William Scott, parents and sister and brother-in-law, Jon and Carolyn Renner.

Bill was born on February 27, 1932 in Cedar Rapids, IA, the son of William and Pauline (Hay) Quinby. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1949, where he lettered in football, baseball and

basketball. Bill attended the University of Iowa, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education and later a master’s in education administration. He entered Iowa planning to play football and baseball, but after a career-ending injury, he became the manager of the football team under Coach Evashevski, but continued to play and letter on the baseball team. Once working back in Cedar Rapids, he met a special, beautiful young woman, Janis Bailey, at a teacher meeting. He was lucky enough to marry her on August 6, 1955 in Clarion, IA.

Bill had a diverse career. He was an educator and administrator in the Cedar Rapids school district for many years, then moved into HR working at Nissan Corp. and CMF&Z, had a stop in real estate at Skogman Homes and finished his career at Coe College as Director of Career Counseling, adding Athletics Director for the final few years. Throughout all this he was a football referee, starting with high school and small college games, then 14 years in the Big 10 and finishing with the NFL for 22 years. He met wonderful people, traveled around the world, with the highlight of his career refereeing in the 1985 Super Bowl.

Bill was very proud of being a lifelong Cedar Rapidian and had wonderful stories of growing up near Daniel’s Park, being one of “Barney’s Boys,” playing little league, playing in high school championship football and baseball games, umpiring youth sports and teaching many in Cedar Rapids how to swim and lifeguarding at Elmcrest Country Club for 14 summers. As an adult, he shared his love for Cedar Rapids serving on several committees/boards, helping fundraise and donating to the Community Health Free Clinic, the Kernels Stadium and Prospect Meadows, as well as campaigning for local option sales tax to renovate the public pools. He enjoyed spending time and volunteering with his special friends through the ARC, Washington High School and the Special Olympics. In retirement, he could often be found at Daniels Park mowing the Kohawk field on the riding mower with a cigar in his mouth. He was very humbled, receiving many awards throughout his lifetime, but Bill was especially honored to receive the key to the city and the proclamation of Bill Quinby Day, December 15, 2015 and the renaming of Daniels Park ballfield to Quinby Field in 2016.

Bill was very proud of his family, especially all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, enjoying frequent phone calls or visits from them when in Cedar Rapids! He lived an amazing, full life, told fantastic stories of life in C.R. and often said, “I’m a lucky guy.” Bill surrounded himself with wonderful people and as a result, had a lifetime of amazing friends from all facets of his life. Our dad was a wonderful man and together with our mom, taught us the importance of hard work, responsibility, giving back to our community and the love of family and friends.

The family would like to thank the staff of Emery Place, Mercy Palliative Care, Hospice of Mercy, especially Amy and Chaplain Kyle, and the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House for their loving care. There were several special people in Bill’s life who frequently visited, took him for rides and made weekly check-in phone calls. The list of people is long, and we are afraid we would miss a name, but we want you to know how grateful we are that you were a special part of our dad’s life.

Per Bill’s wishes, there will be no funeral service and his body has been donated to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program – always a Hawkeye! A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date to give the family an opportunity to say thank you to his many friends for a lifetime of wonderful memories. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to The Community Free Medical Clinic, 947 14th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52302, Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House, 315 18th Ave., Hiawatha, IA 52233, or The ARC of East Central Iowa, 680 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. If you really want to honor Bill, go out and invest in your community and volunteer – it truly brought him great joy throughout his life.

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