“Ms. Dee” Quinn remembered for service, patriotism

Published 12:04 am Friday, May 10, 2024

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Delsie Baldwin Quinn, known as Ms. Dee at the American Legion Post No. 49 in Orange, was a commander filled with patriotism and compassion who didn’t let anything get her down.

A special tribute was made this week for the woman who served her country for 14 years in the U.S. Navy and four years as leader of the post.

Quinn died at the age of 74 on Jan. 20.

Members from across the district came together Wednesday at American Legion Post No. 49, where they paid their respects to Quinn and received a flag that was flown over the State Capitol. It was presented to her daughter, Shannon Snyder, by Speaker of the House Dade Phelan.

Joe Akers, a member of the Sons of the American Legion, which is part of the auxiliary, recalled first meeting Quinn.

Akers said he walked into the Post and introduced himself. He was new to Orange and retired from teaching in Beaumont.

Everyone at the Post was very welcoming.

He introduced himself to Quinn — who never forgot a face. From then on she would greet him by name and hug him around the neck, Akers said.

“If you encompass a mom, grandmother figure and everything that was patriotism, that was Dee. She was literally like 5-feet-tall concentrated Americana,” Akers said.

Quinn had a catchphrase or philosophy; “oh well,” she would say.

“That was kind of her philosophy,” Akers said. “She never let anything get her down. What would irritate you and me, she would say, ‘oh well.’ It was a great philosophy for life.”

Quinn grew up and went to school in Corning, Kansas, and moved to Orange, where she became a member of the American Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary at Post No. 49, according to her obituary.

She went to serve in the Navy for 14 years and while there she became a member of the American Legion.

Akers said Quinn’s parents had also been members of the American Legion, preceding her own service.

Quinn had a special way about her. Akers described the atmosphere of the American Legion Post as that from the TV series, “Cheers,” where one would walk in and their spirits were lifted.

Quinn’s leadership also kept her busy.

If someone needed assistance with Veterans Affairs, she was there to help.

If someone needed help at his or her home, she could find the help they needed.

When Quinn passed away, Post members were understandably heartbroken. A flag was draped over her chair, and to this day, people have a hard time sitting there out of respect, Akers said.