Family, friends and fellow colleagues from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office gathered at the E.T. York Hospice chapel to celebrate the life of Lt. Curtis W. O’Quinn on Friday (Feb. 28th, 2014). O’Quinn, of Cross Creek, passed away February 20, 2014. Curtis was born on March 27, 1951 and was raised most of his life in Cross Creek. He worked with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office from 1972 ’til 2002, and retired as a Lieutenant. Several former deputies shared memories of being trained by O’Quinn in earlier times with the Sheriff’s Department when communication between deputies was not as easy as today and how that led to some unusual predicaments at times when answering some 911 calls.
Retired Deputy Bobby Whitney from Cross Creek, a childhood friend of O’Quinn, shared the story of how when he had just become a deputy, O’Quinn taught him how to take his new gun apart and put it back together. But in the middle of the demonstration they received a radio call to rush to the scene of a robbery across town. The story brought a smile to the face of Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell who was in attendance.
Others spoke of how Lt. O’Quinn was fearless in the field and a “larger than life” character who was proud of being a law enforcement officer. Several of the deputies who trained with him attended the service.
One of the speakers was retired Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission officer Jim Sullivan who remembers how much O’Quinn loved to fish and hunt and shared some amusing stories from earlier days around “The Creek.”
O’Quinn is survived by his wife, Diane O’Quinn; sons, Matthew, Justin, and Tyler O’Quinn; step-sons, Christopher and Joshua Creel; sister, Mary Ann and husband Wallace Lindsey; brother, Eugene and wife Sharon O’Quinn, and eleven grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, James O’Quinn; mother, Beatrice Townsend-Polk; uncle, Marvin Townsend; and grandmother Mary Guthrie-Townsend.