Alpha Stories

Published on Monday, January 14, 2019

Alpha friend and leader Jim Quill passes away

Alpha friend and leader Jim Quill passes away

It is with a heavy heart that the Alpha-1 Foundation shares the passing of a dear friend and leader, James Quill on Sunday, January 13th, 2019 in Bluffton, South Carolina. He was 67.

Jim was on the Alpha-1 Foundation Board of Directors since 2012 and recently served as the Vice Chair and Treasurer. He was a dedicated AlphaNet Coordinator for 10 years and retired as the General Manager for AlphaNet, in 2018. He was loved and respected by his colleagues and all the Alphas he served. Jim touched the lives of so many and was a cherished friend to all who knew him.
Originally from Levittown, Pennsylvania, Jim spent 35 years giving the gift of education to elementary school students as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and a principal. He was diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) in the late 1980s and received a bilateral lung transplant in May 2006. Following his transplant, Jim began his new career as an AlphaNet Coordinator and helped people learn more about their health and how to deal with a rare disorder that affected his entire family. 

“Jim was a dedicated selfless Alpha. He had a gentle soul and as a board member was a strong voice for the needs of Alphas. I will forever be grateful to Jim for his service to the community and guidance to me personally while serving on the board of the Alpha-1 Foundation. He was a valuable member of our community who provided sound advice to all of us. He will be greatly missed,” said Jeanine D’Armiento, MD, PhD, Chair of the Alpha-1 Foundation Board of Directors.

A Foundation event was not complete without Jim and his family there to support it. He was dedicated to the mission of finding a cure for Alpha-1 and worked side by side with the Foundation to inspire Alphas. He recently served on the Foundation’s Educational Materials Working Group; the Budget, Program & Nominating Committee; and the Audit, Finance and Compensation Committee. He was an active volunteer for the Gift of Life Program and regularly attended Alpha-1 Support Groups and Education Days. 

Jim received The Peter Smith Achievement Award in 2015, named for the first Alpha to distribute a version of Alpha-1 news intended to keep Alphas informed. At the 2018 National Education Conference, last summer, Jim was awarded the Inspirational Award for his many years of dedicated service, vision as a leader, Alpha-1 advocate and fundraiser for the Alpha-1 community. Jim was recognized upon his retirement from AlphaNet at the 2018 Celebration of Life, the Foundation’s signature fundraising event.

“All at AlphaNet are saddened by the passing of Jim Quill. Over the decade, since Jim joined AlphaNet, he was an AlphaNet Coordinator and eventually the General Manager of the AlphaNet program. In each role he drew on his experience as a teacher and school principal to provide education and guidance to those he served,” said Robert A. Sandhaus, MD, PhD, FCCP, medical director of AlphaNet.

“Ever soft-spoken and even tempered, even when those around him were not, he provided calm direction and wisdom to all he touched, including the many coordinators and several thousand patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency under his supervision. It would be hard to imagine AlphaNet without his guiding hand, except that he was able to surround himself with highly qualified protégés that together can step up to carry on his work,” he added.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Marge, of 45 years; his sons and daughters-in-law Donovan, Holly, Andrew and Holly; his five grandchildren, as well as, nieces and nephews. 

Services will be held in the Northeast Pennsylvania area. 

A Celebration of Life for Jim Quill will be held on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019, at Queen of The Universe Church: 2433 Trenton Road, Levittown, Pennsylvania 19056.

  • Calling hours will be from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Mass from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Burial following the mass at the St. Ignatius Catholic Cemetery, River Road, Yardley, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests to please consider making a contribution to the Alpha-1 Foundation to continue research towards a cure. 

Click here to make a donation in memory of Jim.