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In Memoriam

John Quiring (Track, Cross-Country Coach, Math Teacher)

John Quiring (Track, Cross-Country Coach, Math Teacher)

     John Robert Quiring, of Okemos, Michigan, loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother; devoted teacher, esteemed coach, and an inspiration to all who knew him, died at home in the presence of family, on Sunday, February 4, 2018.

John was born on April 4, 1942 in Detroit, to Robert Irving Quiring and Carol Jean Bale Quiring, and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from University High in Kalamazoo (1960) and received his BA in Mathematics (1964) and MA in Counseling (1966) from Michigan State University.

Surviving are his wife of forty-eight years, Janet Balmer Quiring, his daughter, Alison Balmer Quiring (Matt Shullick), his sons Adam Robert Quiring (Sara) and Nicholas Jon Quiring; his adored grandchildren, Bronwyn and Gwyneth Shullick, Evelyn, Audrey, and Isabelle Quiring; his sisters Joanne (Richard) Chamberlin and Roberta Quiring King; and his daughter-in-heart Carrie Ladyga and her children, Rileigh and Colton Ladyga.

John taught mathematics in Richmond, California and Leslie, Michigan before beginning a thirty-year teaching and coaching career at Okemos High School.

Known as "Q" by his runners, John was an accomplished track and cross country coach. His cross country teams won 29 league titles, 20 regional titles, and the 1986 Boys' State Championship. Those who John coached knew and loved him for both his disciplined approach to personal development and his generous spirit. John continued the legacy of his father, Bob Quiring, who was a beloved teacher and coach in Kalamazoo and a Michigan Hall of Fame recipient.
John was a member of the Okemos Community Church, past president of the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association, and a devoted member of his community.

John loved nothing more than spending time with his family and friends on the Leelanau Peninsula in northern Michigan. A perfect day included walking the beach, catching the sunset, and gazing at the stars late into the night.


I nominate, John Quiring an accomplished teacher, track and cross country coach to the Alumni Hall of Fame. In my freshman year in the fall of 1978, John started coaching cross country at Okemos. Coach Q (as we know him) taught us lessons in the class room, on the track and the cross country courses of lower Michigan that I will never forget. He made "learning easy" and instilled in many of us the love of running and teamwork.

A small number of us ran all four years with the cross county team. Although the awards in those years where limited, our time together and lessons from Coach Q stay with us today. Coach Q touched the lives of many over his thirty plus years at Okemos. Those who were coached by "Q" know of his disciplined approach to personal development and his generous spirit. 

Jeff Preston - class of 1982