Timothy James Quinn

Timothy James Quinn, executive director of The ARC Northern Chesapeake who was involved with disability issues at the state and national level, died Jan. 10 of melanoma at Gilchrist Hospice Care. The Elkton resident was 56.

Mr. Quinn was born in Kansas City, Mo., and raised in Timonium. He was a graduate of Dulaney High School and earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Sioux Falls College in 1978.

He earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning in 1984.

Mr. Quinn worked as a house parent for emotionally disturbed children at Villa Maria in Towson and was a resident counselor in a group home in Sioux Falls from 1976 to 1978.

He subsequently held positions at the Woodbourne Center, The Chimes and Villa Maria in Towson, before being named program director and social worker with the Pen-Mar Organization in 1982.

In 1984, Mr. Quinn became service coordinator for The ARC of Frederick County, where he rose to the position of service coordination director and became responsible for the delivery of case management services to more than 3,000 individuals with developmental disabilities in central, western and portions of southern Maryland. He also oversaw the direction of 11 offices and 62 staff members.

In 1990, Mr. Quinn became executive director of the ARC Northern Chesapeake, which is based in Aberdeen.

Mr. Quinn's responsibilities were numerous and varied, as his agency and its 230 staffers provided individual and family support, supported employment and treatment foster care and supported living and recreation in Harford, Cecil and Kent counties.

During Mr. Quinn's tenure, The ARC Northern Chesapeake, which supports more than 180 adults and 300 children and families, received recognition for the quality of its services and commitment to personal empowerment and inclusion.

Steven M. Eidelman, former executive director of The ARC of the United States and professor of human services policy at the University of Delaware, is a longtime friend.

"Tim had great passion and skill and was renowned nationally for what he accomplished at The ARC Northern Chesapeake for congregant and highly individualized services," Mr. Eidelman said.

"He was very progressive and forward-looking. He wanted a decent life for his clients and did it all with no money. It was hard to do, but he did it," he said. "He did it well and early on."

Regina L. Manly, currently acting director of The ARC Northern Chesapeake, said that Mr. Quinn was always "full of energy."

"You could tell how much Tim genuinely cared for our families and individuals. He'd go out of his way to visit a sick child in the hospital," Mrs. Manly said.

"He was always thinking of the next idea and how to improve and empower individuals and families who have disabilities," she said.

Mrs. Manly said that Mr. Quinn was a great storyteller and often used his Irish charm and wit.

"He talked to people and would tell them that they could have a real life, love someone, work and contribute," she said. "He wanted them to know that they could be inclusive and be a part of things."

Torri M. Dietrich, director of development for The ARC Northern Chesapeake, nominated Mr. Quinn for the National Conference of Executives of The ARC Executive Excellence Award.

"Throughout his tenure at The ARC, Tim has exemplified a fierce tenacity in his quest to break down the barriers of traditional segregated services that were so deeply entrenched in our community," she wrote.

"In fact, he has been the key catalyst and change agent in our community to inspire, educate and energize people to open their minds (and doors) to a world of possibilities that allow people with developmental disabilities to live life to the fullest," she wrote.

Alan Arkin, co-owner of Advance Business Systems, a Cockeysville business-equipment company, was a longtime friend and supporter.

"Tim was such a courageous and wonderful man. He didn't talk about things, he did them," Mr. Arkin said.

"He lived what he believed and was an incredibly inspirational individual. I know I'm a much better person for having known Tim Quinn," he said. "The world could certainly use more Tim Quinns."

Mr. Quinn enjoyed running, golfing and ice-skating.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville.

Surviving are his wife of three years, the former Gloria Perry; two sons, Daniel Quinn of Millers and Padraig Conor Quinn of Elkton; a daughter, Shannon Quinn of Washington; his mother, Mary Jayne Quinn of Towson; two brothers, Michael Quinn of Stamford, Conn., and Kevin Quinn of Centreville, Va.; and four sisters, Terry Orzechowski of Beltsville, Bridget Hillman of Chicago, and Susan Scheper and Maggie Norton, both of Westminster. An earlier marriage to Winnie Schwab ended in divorce.