Marie Laretta “Retta”Filholm Quinn

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Marie Laretta “Retta”Filholm Quinn, 85, of Oceanside, CA passed away September 8, 2014 at Oceanside. She was born  October 17, 1928 at White, SD.“Retta” was a teacher, a child counselor, and a passionate published poet. Her commitment to children, learning, providing counsel and inspiring others took her to many places and adventures. Her joy was the journey.Retta had a borrowed mantra she loved to share widely: “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”She left Brookings High School following her sophomore year to work at Nick’s Hamburger Joint and to marry her late husband, Arthur Lee Quinn, Sr.With many “sons” and “daughters” throughout her life, she and Art were preceded in peace in 1946 by their first born, Arthur Lee Quinn, Jr.Retta finished her junior and senior years of high school (in one school year) at Timber Lake High School and graduated in May of 1956. She earned her teaching certificate from Presentation Junior College in May of 1961. She and Art attended South Dakota State University many summers when their teaching years in Glencross ended. In 1972 she earned her Bachelor’s degree and in 1974 her Master’s degree in Education from Black Hills State College.She began her first teaching journey in a two classroom school in Glencross with Art in 1961. She taught grades 1-4 and Art taught 5-8. They were back in Glencross where Art taught his first class in 1946 and where her second birth son, Robert Quinn, was born in 1947.She would later hold positions of teaching in Timber Lake and Belle Fourche, and elementary school principal in Red Scaffold. She also was a counselor for the Northern Cheyenne Schools in Busby, MT.Retta’s love for the Native peoples took her in 1981 to the Northwest Arctic Schools of Alaska. She lived above the Arctic Circle until 1989 teaching, counseling, and creating curriculum development in the Inuit schools of Kotzebue, Shungnak, Ambler, and Kivalina. It was in the Northwest Arctic that Laretta met her loving friend and devoted surviving life partner of 27 years, Louis Grzadzielewski. Summers afforded them the opportunity to travel the States and Mexico.In 1989 they moved to their final home together in Oceanside, CA. Retta and Lou briefly left Oceanside for two years moving to South Dakota where she took a position as school counselor for the Sioux Nation schools of He Dog and Spring Creek.Experiencing heart attacks, strokes, cancers and a myriad of health issues, she would reach out to embrace life and cheer others on, saying “Many of my curiosities have been satisfied, but not all of them, for every day is a new experience and I am on a journey on the learning train.”Laretta donated her physical chariot to the University of California San Diego Body Donor Program writing, “I’ve been a teacher all of my life and this gives me one more opportunity to teach.” Her journey continues.Retta kept both her Filholm and Quinn names and leaves generations of nieces and nephews and friends celebrating her journey with joy. Her surviving brothers are Doug Filholm of Brookings and Dave Filholm of Huron. Their families as well as the families of her siblings who went before— Genevieve Holm and Geraldine Jensen of Brookings and James Filholm of New Underwood— join that celebration.Sharing that joy as well are the Quinn family— Frank Quinn and Carol Lipp of Timber Lake, Darlene Adams, Margaret Anderson, Tom Quinn, and Dan Quinn, all of Spearfish; Joyce Summers of Anderson, CA; Mary Martian of La Mirada, CA; and sister-in-law Maxine Quinn of Scottsbluff, NE. They are joined by Lou’s family — Michael, Mark, Susan, Steve and Nancy of Olympia, WA, and Andrew of Rosholt, WI and their families.Masses of the Celebration of Life have been read for Retta in Brookings, Timber Lake, and Spearfish, SD; Redding, San Francisco and Oceanside, CA; and in Wisconsin and Washington, DC.(Robert Quinn’s address is #503 2299 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114-1612) 
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