Kane County IL April 11 2017 Holly Quinn was never too busy or overwhelmed by a tough job in law enforcement to find time for her friends.
She visited one of her closest friends nearly every weekend after he suffered a heart attack that left him with brain damage three years ago. When another friend broke her ankle, Quinn brought her ice cream.
For the happier occasions, Quinn's friends could always expect a birthday or anniversary card in the mail.
"Holly was a person who was very caring, and she always wanted to help somebody," her husband, John, said. "If you became one of Holly's friends or even acquaintance, she was a friend for life. That's what's making this so tough for everybody."
Quinn, a longtime court security officer for the Kane County sheriff's office, died Friday after suffering a heart attack. She was 59.
Quinn began her career working for the Glen Ellyn police reserve department and later provided security for Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, her husband said. She was hired by Kane County in January 1997.
"She spent her whole life protecting others," her friend Gretchen Fehling said. "Whether it was on the streets, in the hospital or in the courthouse, she spent her whole career watching out for other people. One of the good ones, you know?"
The two met in the 1980s when Fehling wanted to become a police officer and considered Quinn her role model.
"You want it, you can do it," Quinn would tell Fehling.
She joined the Winfield Police Department when Quinn worked at Central DuPage. On one Halloween, a uniformed Fehling posed for a photo with Quinn, who wore a wig and skeleton earrings to bring a smile to hospital patients.
"She was just so full of life and energy and friendly," said Fehling, now a senior patrol officer in Sleepy Hollow.
She kept that positive aura but also would "take care of business" at the Kane County courthouse, where Quinn was often the "first one through the door" responding to a security alarm, Fehling said.
Quinn also remained close with Jim Toman since they were high school students and worked together at a pizzeria. Quinn was "there every step of the way" after Toman had the heart attack. She made an effort to catch up with him on weekends at his house, five blocks away from her own in Winfield, his wife said.
"She thinks about people, and she thinks about how to make their day just a little bit brighter," Kathy Toman said.
Quinn would have celebrated her wedding anniversary in June. Her father, a minister, officiated the ceremony in 2011.
"She was definitely my life. She spoiled me like no other," John Quinn said. "And I'm going to miss her dearly. She was everything to me, my best friend. We did everything together."
Quinn struggled with the death of her father last December. But she still "was a bright ray of sunshine," said Fehling, who keeps one of her birthday cards from Quinn on her mantle.
"You would see her and the whole room would light up," she said.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Williams-Kampp Funeral Home, 430 E. Roosevelt Road, Wheaton. A service is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, at the funeral home.