Guilford - Neil Quinn, of Guilford, Vermont, died peacefully in Hanover, N.H., on Thursday, September 13, 2018, after a short bout with cancer. He was 78. He was born as Joseph Cornelius Quinn, Jr. on June 24, 1940, in Washington, D.C.
He is survived by his wife, Betsy Bates, of Dummerston; his son Bevan and wife Tammi, of Guilford, and grandsons Braeden and Caleb; his daughter Mauireen Derby Quinn and husband Watson E. Bell III, of St. Thomas, Scotland, and granddaughters Bailee and Mackenzie Bell. He leaves a daughter-in-law Trish Kneeland of Westminster, Vt. He also leaves two sisters, Ellin Martin, of Rutland, Vt., and Deborah Quinn, of Santa Fe, N.M.
Additionally he is survived by three nieces and a nephew, and several grandnieces and nephews. His first marriage to Virginia Whitman ended in divorce.
He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph C. Quinn, Sr. and Phyllis Hight Quinn; and by his son Jeremy.
As a child, Neil lived in the states of Washington, California, Arizona, and Massachusetts. He graduated from Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Mass. He attended Denison University, Harvard Summer School, Columbia University Summer Programs, and Marlboro College.
Neil moved to Guilford in 1964 and lived there for over 50 years. He also lived in Marlboro, Halifax and Brattleboro, and had very recently moved to Dummerston.
After college, he worked in Brattleboro, Vt. at the Book Cellar and the Stephen Greene Press. He then worked as a book designer at R.L. Dothard and Associates in Guilford. Book and publication design lead him to interests in bicycling and cross-country skiing.
Neil is well-remembered as the former owner of the West Hill Shop, a bicycle and cross-country ski shop, in Putney, Vt., and as a cyclist and skier. He was a founder of the business in 1971 and later became sole owner. He sold the shop in 2004. He was an avid cyclist and skier and was involved in promoting many bicycle races, ski races, and related events. He was a founding member of the Putney Bicycle Club and was actively riding until recently.
In recent years he was a self-employed carpenter and contractor, working as Waterhouse Hill Services. He built houses, barns, and tree houses, and also performed handyman jobs, tractor work, and occasional book design or website work.
Neil served in the United States Marine Corp. Reserve from 1958 to 1964. He became a volunteer fireman in 1966 and served as a lieutenant and captain. He remained involved in the fire department to the present day as a trustee, serving terms as president, clerk and treasurer. He was a trustee and treasurer for Christ Church Guilford Society. He was an auditor for the town of Guilford for 20 years and did the design and layout of the annual town report. He served as town meeting moderator for 12 years.
Donations in memory of Neil may be made to the Guilford Volunteer Fire Dept., 108 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT 05301 or Christ Church Guilford Society, c/o A. Montgomery, 57 Indigo Drive, Guilford, VT 05301.
A wake will be held on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, at Christ Church on Route 5 in Guilford, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. A funeral will be held at Christ Church on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 11:00 AM, with a reception to follow at the Guilford Volunteer Fire Dept.