Victoria Quinn affectionately known as “Mama Toya,” joined her husband, Donald J. Quinn, in heaven on July 30th, 2017. Victoria died peacefully in her sleep at home, the way she wanted to, after a brief illness.
During the days before her death, Victoria’s home was filled with music and laughter from the numerous family members who camped out to take turns caring and loving her and each other, the way she wanted it to be.
Victoria was born in Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico to Primitivo and Guadalupe Garcia. The family moved from Mexico to Kansas City in 1927 to escape religious persecution. To continue the love of her culture, she helped her mother and sister continue the tradition of the Mexican Fiestas in Kansas City. She also performed and recorded several records in English and Spanish with her brother, Carlos Garcia, and sister, Lupe Garcia (Sister Ann Victoria, SCL), in their group “The Las Palmas Trio.”
Aside from performing with her siblings, the vivacious Victoria was an accomplished recording artist and singer who performed with the Mexican Philharmonic Orchestra, took first place in the KC Parks & Rec talent competition and was asked by Liberace to sing with him during an appearance at the Bellerive Hotel.
Victoria and her husband Donald were brought together through their shared passion for music in 1952 while singing in the choir at Visitation Catholic Church. After their marriage, they continued to sing at Our Lady of Guadalupe fiestas, the KC Philharmonic Chorus and the Law Review.
Victoria attended Manual High School where she was a member of the Athena Literary Society. In 1948, she helped her family open one of the first Mexican restaurants in Kansas City “Las Palmas,” which remained in the family for almost thirty years. Victoria raised her children while running the restaurant and working as a legal secretary for her husband.
In 2005 Victoria was recognized with her family as UMKC Legacy recipients. More recently, she received the 2017 “Hats Off to Mothers” Award, which recognizes mothers who have demonstrated the remarkable ability to balance family life, personal achievement and widespread service to their community.
Victoria married the love of her life in 1953 and had eight children Victoria Houlehan (Bill), Donald Quinn II (Mary), John Quinn (Eileen), Kathleen Quinn Byrne (Ian), Patrice Quinn, Elizabeth Quinn Babcock, Dolores Kitchin (John) and Anthony Quinn (Diane) all of whom will miss her gusto for life, music, family and faith. Mama Toya’s lessons of love, selflessness and her constant inspiration to never settle for less than the best will be cherished by her 28 grandchildren, great-grandson and soon-to-be great-granddaughter.
After her husband died in 2013, Victoria remained living in the family home in part due to the loving care of her daughter Patrice Suzanne Quinn, who will sorely miss her.
At Victoria’s request, a private Mass of Christian burial will be held at Cure of Ars Catholic Church. Memorial donations may be made to the Sister Servants of Mary who graciously cared for our Mama Toya in her final days, 800 N 18th Street, KCK, 66102. Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC