If you ever had an elderly gentleman walk up to you, ask your name and offer you a small pewter pocket angel, you may be one of the many hundreds of people who's lives were touched by Hilton Quine. He left this world on May 20, 2023 surrounded by his close family.
For over a 15 years Mr. Quine has randomly approached people who he felt might need faith, comfort or inspiration to offer them a pocket angel, each with a scripture number he engraved on the back and a mustard seed glued to the front. But his legacy was not as much about leaving something with people, as it was about leaving something in the people he met.
Jackson Hilton Quine was born January 26, 1930 in Keltys, TX, the only child of James Hilton Quine and Era Lee Carrell. As a young man in East Texas, his extended family included four half brothers and four half sisters from previous marriages.
He joined the U.S. Army when he was 18 and after basic at Ft. Hood was stationed in San Antonio at Ft. Sam Houston where he worked in the Machine Records Unit (97th MRU).
Two years later he married and brought two sons into the world, Michael and Kevin. Upon completion of his military service, he worked for Trans Texas Airways at the airport in Borger, Texas and in 1961 moved his family to Irving, Texas.
After a divorce he became an active member of Parents Without Partners and it was there that he met the love of his life, Reba Ann Talley.
On November 24, 1973 the couple married and combined their 4 children, Michael, Kevin, Traci and Devin into a single loving family and moved to Mesquite.
As a PADI scuba instructor for over 30 years, he trained and and certified hundreds of students as Open Water Divers at his home in Mesquite. His students included top professionals in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and even a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader.
Hilton dove hundreds of times throughout Texas, Hawaii, the Bahamas and Mexico as well as in a Mayan sacrificial cenote. Over 50 years ago, before divers were using gas mixtures for scuba, Hilton was diving to extreme depths of over 200 feet in Cozumel, Mexico to harvest black coral, which he shaped and fashioned into jewelry.
While in Cozumel he met and befriended local diver Alberto Hernandez who had been crippled during a diving accident. He later moved Alberto into his home with his two sons in Irving, Texas and taught him how to shape and create jewelry from black coral.
Early in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, misinformation was abundant. While much of the public stigmatized and discriminated against victims of the disease, Hilton personally cared for his wife's son, Devin Talley, in their home, with love and compassion, until Devin's death.
Tragedy touched the family again in 1998 when Hilton's son Kevin was struck on his motorcycle by a negligent driver and killed almost instantly.
In 2013 he suffered from a burst aortic aneurysm. Eighty-five percent of people with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm die before they reach the hospital but Hilton miraculously survived and recovered thanks to quick thinking by his wife Reba.
During his life Hilton served as President of the Southwest Council of Skin Diving Clubs, was a Certified PADI Instructor, a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner, an involved parent in the Boy Scouts of America and an active member of his church.
On May 20th, hours before his death, his 3rd great-grandchild Harley May Quine was born to Kevin's son Myles.
One journey ends and another begins.