The charisma and upbeat attitude embodied by Carol Quinn served him well in managing what can be a difficult part of the newspaper industry: circulation.
Retired Tribune-Review general manager Art McMullen said Quinn’s personality fits the role of vice president of circulation and production, ensuring newspapers reach thousands of homes and handling customer complaints when things go wrong. But Quinn had a way of smoothing things over and making everything right.
“I think he could overcome that through his outgoing personality,” McMullen said. “He didn’t let those things drag him down.”
The same can be said for much of Quinn’s life.
He was always taking his family on an unforgettable vacation or telling a joke. The work was a source of pride for him, but also relaxation and fun, according to his family.
Quinn, of Pittsburgh, died Friday at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. He was 66.
Quinn was a native of Philadelphia and as a teenager worked summers at the family business, Kennywood. There, he and his brother, Andy Quinn of Mount Lebanon, became close.
“We slept together, we drank together, we worked together,” Andy Quinn said.
Andy Quinn recalled many sleepless nights with his brother after the rides closed, laughing over a few beers at a nearby joint, only to take a quick nap before returning to work at West Mifflin Amusement Park. The brothers initially worked on the Turnpike ride, after which Carol Quinn later became the manager of the Jack Rabbit roller coaster.
“He was always the life of the party,” Andy Quinn said. “He was a fun guy to be around.”
After Quinn graduated from Villanova University, his career eventually moved into the newspaper business at the Baltimore Sun and Chicago Sun-Times before landing at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he worked from 1992 to 2004.
Through Quinn’s office next door 20 years ago at the Newsworks printing plant, Trib Total Media President and CEO Jennifer Bertetto said she learned a lot about business from him and how to manage employees. Quinn was responsible for growing the Pittsburgh publication’s home delivery in the mid-to-late 1990s before becoming responsible for company-wide circulation as well as daily newspaper production.
“You really can’t write the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story without having some chapters on Carroll,” Bertetto said.
Hunker’s daughter Joanna Bell also learned a lot from her father. She spent about 10 years working at his full-service firm, Distinct Advertising in Greensburg, after his stint in the newspaper business, and saw his energy flourish while shooting commercials and brainstorming ideas.
“My father was a larger than life man. He made everything big,” she said. “He loved to dress up and throw big parties.”
A proponent of experiences over material possessions, he enjoyed traveling the world and sharing that time with his family, she said.
“I think that’s a good lesson I learned from him,” she said.
There is one experience that sticks out in Belle’s memory: the time during her childhood in Chicago when a tornado blew through and Belle’s favorite teddy bear was at a neighbor’s house.
“My dad ran over and got it for me,” she said. “He would do a lot for a lot of people.”
In addition to Bell and his brother, Carol Quinn is survived by his wife Lori, sons Ryan and Christopher Quinn, eight grandchildren, brother Tom Quinn, sister Denise Kossuth and other family members.
Visitation will be from 11 am to 3 pm Monday at John A. Freyvogel Sons, 4900 Center Ave., Pittsburgh. A funeral service will be held there at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by a celebration of life at 1 p.m. at Bella Terra Vineyards in Hunker. Donations in Quinn’s honor may be made to the Manchester Bidwell Corp.