Appellate Judge From Oak Forest Found Dead in Chambers

Patrick J. Quinn, 60, had a distinguished career as a First District Illinois Appellate Court judge. He also was known as a good neighbor and father to at least one Oak Forest resident.

Judge Patrick J. Quinn | Credit: State of Illinois
Judge Patrick J. Quinn | Credit: State of Illinois
Patrick J. Quinn had earned a reputation as a respected Illinois appellate judge for 17 years. But in Oak Forest, where he lived for the same amount of time, he had built a reputation as a good neighbor.

Quinn, 60, was found dead in his downtown Chicago chambers Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. An autopsy was scheduled Thursday to determine the cause of death, the Tribune reported.

READ: Check Out the Full Chicago Tribune Story for More Details

Quinn is survived by his wife, Susan, and their three children. Services are pending.

In 1996, Quinn, a former Cook County prosecutor, was elected to the First District Appellate Court. That same year, he and his family moved to Oak Forest where he became neighbors with Oak Forest Park District Commissioner Joe Conway. Over the years, the two families became friends.

"It's heartbreaking. To get that kind of phone call, it's never pleasant," Conway said of hearing the news from Quinn's wife. "It's a loss."

Conway described Quinn as a "no-nonsense kind of guy" who "told it like it was." He also could be a bit of storyteller if you caught him at the right time, Conway said.

"He was a Chicago guy," Conway said. "He had a lot of stories."

Some of Quinn's tales dealt with sitting across from convicted mobsters and criminals as a prosecutor and a judge. But Quinn's legal experiences weren't nearly as impressive as his devotion to his developmentally disabled daughter, Erin, Conway said. 

"They had a special relationship," Conway added.

Quinn would spend his vacation weeks with Erin, who is in her 20s, and the two would travel together to Milwaukee for that city's Summerfest. Conway said he and his neighbors can't fathom what that loss must feel like for a daughter who had such a close relationship with her dad.

Although most people will remember Quinn as a judge, Conway will always know him as a good neighbor who opened his pool up in the spring and came out to block parties with the rest of the neighborhood. Over the weekend, Conway and Quinn spent their final time together shoveling their driveways and talking with each other. Just doing what good neighbors.

"He was one of the good guys," Conway said.


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