The Gadsden-Etowah County area lost a strong community supporter Thursday with the passing of former Chamber of Commerce President Tom Quinn, according to Bennett Tucker.
Tucker is a former chairman of the Gadsden-Etowah County Chamber of Commerce — a position he held when Quinn was hired and began his 18-year tenure as president.
"He was new to the Gadsden area when he accepted the position," Tucker recalled. "I think it was an important move by the Chamber to Tom."
While new to Gadsden, Quinn brought decades of experience in similar positions in Columbus, Mississippi; Anniston; Tuscaloosa; and Cleveland, Tennessee.
He proved himself to be a strong supporter of Gadsden and Etowah County, Tucker said.
Quinn retired as president of the chamber in 2011, after overseeing 17 years of RiverFest — Gadsden's signature summer event that brought entertainers to town for a weekend of music and food along the Coosa River.
"Serving on The Chamber board while Tom was president was one of my first community service experiences after moving back to Gadsden," Kendall Lowe Hamilton said. "He was a great mentor to me, and his passion for serving our community inspired me to want to give back.
"My father (longtime auto dealer Devan Lowe) also thought a lot of Tom and enjoyed many years of working with him on Riverfest," Hamilton said.
Quinn was behind initial efforts to recruit retirees to live in the area, to spend their golden years enjoying the river, the mountains and all else the community had to offer — and to offer their time and energy to it.
That effort began in 1993, and during its first five years, the chamber recruited 275 new retirees or retiring couples to Etowah County.
Quinn was a member of First United Methodist Church in Gadsden and was active in the Gadsden Rotary Club, serving two years as president,
He is survived by his wife Sharon, three children, eight grandchildren, three brothers and several nieces and nephews.
Graveside service for Quinn will be 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday at Magnolia Cemetery, 2638 23rd Ave., Meridian, Mississippi.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Former Gadsden-Etowah County Chamber president remembered