Stoughton- Quinn C. Smet passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022 at Skaalen Heights in Stoughton. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1930, to Charles and Marcy Smet. His father was a welder and found work in Charleston, South Carolina. The family would eventually live in many cities in the South. As a young boy in Baton Rouge, he developed a fascination with planes and would go to the local airport and offer to wash the planes for rides. After his father died in 1944, he moved back to Green Bay and attended Central Catholic High School for Boys, graduating in 1948. After an initial meeting during high school where they didn’t quite “hit it off”, he reconnected with Verna Pfeiffer, sparks flew and they were married on Oct. 2, 1954, in Racine, WI.
After high school, he moved to Milwaukee and worked at Briggs and Stratton. In May 1951, he was drafted into the Korean War and served in England. After the Army, he attended UW Milwaukee, studying history and geography. He began his career as a Research Associate for the State of Wisconsin Historical Society and moved to Michigan to work as the Urban Renewal Director for the City of Dearborn while attending law school at night at the Detroit College of Law. Eventually, the family moved back to Wisconsin and Quinn continued his career in State and Local government, becoming the City Manager for the cities of Monona and Whitewater.
After retirement, Quinn truly savored his “second act” in life as a teacher, pilot, artist, gardener, and doting grandfather. During his 13 years as a substitute teacher for the Stoughton School District, he especially enjoyed working with middle schoolers and sternly telling them his one rule was “No Smiling”; which of course made even the grumpiest students laugh. He fulfilled his boyhood dream and got his Private Pilot and Ground School Instructor License and was part of two local flying clubs. He was a self-taught and prolific watercolor artist, and many of his pieces were happily given to family and friends. He was a gardener his whole life, a skill he learned from his grandfather, and had a large apple orchard where he would take the grandkids on tractor rides. Quinn was a member of the Stoughton School Board for 12 years and mentored and tutored many young people. He was active in his church and many local civic organizations. Quinn was a dreamer, and a thinker, and was always available with a helping hand and a sly joke.
Although he had many jobs in his life, his favorite job was as a father and grandfather. Together Quinn and Verna raised six children. He recently joked that his biggest accomplishment was raising six “reasonably successful” children. He was a gentle patriarch who truly delighted in his children and most especially his grandchildren. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and positive outlook.
Quinn was preceded in death by wife of 67 years, Verna, his infant grandson, Frederick Smet, his parents, and brother Wayne. He is survived by his six children, Charles “Chuck” (Marcia), John (Cindy), Mary Jo (Greg), Peter (Teresa), Tom (Anne), and Patrick (Melisa), 18 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 at St. Ann Catholic Church with Fr. Randy Budnar and Msgr. Healy officiating. Burial will follow at St. Ann Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM until the time of Mass at church.
Memorials may be made to the Quinn and Verna Smet Scholarship Fund. Make checks payable to The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation and note the Quinn and Verna Smet Scholarship in the memo line. Send to Smet Foundation, 1300 Highland Ave., Suite 218, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
A special thank you to Jennifer Seed, Director, and the entire staff of Skaalen Heights, Lori Duane, and the staff of Agrace Hospice for their wonderful care and support.
Please share memories of Quinn by posting on his Tribute Wall at www.CressFuneralService.com
Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street, PO Box 231, Stoughton