Obituary: Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall

<p>Christine Quinn-Brintnall</p>

Tacoma, Wash.

June 9, 1951 – May 19, 2014

Christine Quinn-Brintnall died at home in Tacoma on May 19, 2014, after battling cancer for over two years. She was 62.

Born June 9, 1951, in Portland, to Captain Edgar A. Quinn and Betty Jane Christensen, Chris was raised in Astoria, Oregon, graduating from Astoria High School in 1969. She received a B.A. degree from the Evergreen State College, Olympia, and a law degree from University of Puget Sound, Tacoma (1980).

During law school, Chris worked for King County, Washington, as an intern on felony prosecutions and, after graduation, as a deputy prosecuting attorney. She also clerked in Seattle for Judge James A. Andersen at the Court of Appeals.

Chris started work in Pierce County in 1983 after being recruited by Prosecuting Attorney William Griffies, serving as his Chief Criminal Deputy. After John Ladenburg was elected prosecuting attorney in 1986, she continued with the office as a senior criminal prosecutor and head of the appeals unit, later working in the civil division.

Chris was an experienced trial and appellate attorney. In her 20 years as a deputy prosecutor, she argued many cases before the appellate courts, including 97 published cases that set precedent. In 2000, Chris was elected to the Washington State Court of Appeals, and later re-elected twice.

She loved being a judge, and was known for her work ethic and passion for justice. In her 13 years on the bench, she authored over 1,200 opinions and did substantial administrative work for the courts.

In 2012, her colleagues elected her presiding chief judge of the Court of Appeals, representing all three appeals court divisions in the state, a position she held for a year.

Chris was much beloved at the court. Her staff admired her unerring thoroughness and passion, and her colleagues appreciated her wit and commitment to the job. In serving as an appellate judge, Chris truly found her calling. Every day, Chris demonstrated her love of the law and dedication to the Court of Appeals. She will be missed by her court family.

Active in community affairs, “Judge QB” was involved with the Emergency Food Network, Read2Me, Rotary 8, Tacoma Youth Symphony, and St. Matthew Episcopal Church. A talented musician, she played the flute and piano, and was an active contra dancer.

Judge Quinn-Brintnall is survived by her husband, Matt Temmel, and two grown sons, Lincoln and Collin Quinn-Brintnall. She is also survived by her brother, Peter Quinn; a nephew, Loren Quinn; stepsons, Mark and Dominic Temmel; and the dozens of young lawyers she mentored or inspired during her time on the bench.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, June 3, starting at 3:30 p.m., at Life Center, 1717 S. Union Ave., Tacoma.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Read2Me, c/o Tacoma Community House, 1314 South L Street, Tacoma 98405, and to Emergency Food Network, 3318 92nd St S, Tacoma 98499.

A guest book is available at

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