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Morgan Hill
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October 16, 2021

Updated: Local veterinarian, benefactor, dies unexpectedly

John Quick, a friend of wildlife, a practitioner of animal
health and an admired member of the Morgan Hill community, died
early Friday at the age of 61.
By Dennis Taylor

John Quick, a friend of wildlife, a practitioner of animal health and an admired member of the Morgan Hill community, died early Friday at the age of 61.

News of Quick’s death spread quickly through the network of community organizations, friends and coworkers. Those that did not know him personally, lamented his passing as a professional colleague and as a supporter of community improvement efforts.

Quick’s universe stretched wide. He volunteered in numerous community organizations, but was probably best known for his veterinary practice, his love of tennis and his work with wildlife organizations, particularly the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center in Morgan Hill and the California Condor Project.

Sammy Meeks spent much of the day wiping away tears and trying to sort out why an otherwise healthy, active man would die so suddenly. The Assistant Manager at Quick’s veterinary clinic, Animal Care Clinic, said Quick was like a father figure to the staff.

“He loved to mentor people,” Meeks said.

Quick was also involved with local media and its role of showcasing community efforts.

“I am shocked and saddened by the news of John’s passing,” said Steve Staloch, Morgan Hill Times Publisher and Senior Vice President & COO Mainstreet Media Group, the Time’s parent company. “John was a devoted member of our editorial board who always demonstrated – quite animatedly at times – his passion for the Morgan Hill community. He was well versed on local issues and always stood up for what he believed in with articulation and conviction. We will miss his voice and his friendship. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

The suddenness of his death shocked those who knew the athletic local vet. Quick was found unconscious by his wife Davlyn Giovanetti-Quick in their Holiday Drive home early Friday morning. He was transported to Kaiser Santa Teresa Hospital in San Jose but doctors were unable to resuscitate him , Meeks said.

Quick, a Morgan Hill Rotary Club member since 1983, died of apparent natural causes, according to the club’s president Del Foster. His wife tried unsuccessfully to revive him, added Foster. Paramedics arrived at the home in response to a 911 call about 8:15 a.m. Foster, speaking on behalf of Quick’s wife, said he had not been feeling well and exhibited flu-like symptoms earlier this week.

“We lost an active member of the community,” Foster said.

Quick’s death was particularly hard on Meeks. Her mother was the manager of Animal Care Clinic when at 14 Meeks was hired to provide general animal care. Nine years later she is following in her mother’s footsteps as the assistant manager.

“John is very loyal, a very loyal employer,” Meeks said, not realizing she was still talking in present tense. “He really stands behind his employees.”

The staff are all in shock, she said. Tears flow at the clinic and many staffers are working through shock and confusion. “Tomorrow will be a very hard day.”

Among his many philanthropic endeavors, Quick was active in the Morgan Hill Community Law Enforcement Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for the local police department.

Police Chief Bruce Cumming praised Quick for his role in bringing the department’s police dog, Pax, to Morgan Hill by helping to raise funds for his purchase. He also provided free healthcare for the K-9 officer at his clinic, Animal Care Center on Tennant Avenue.

“John Quick was a devoted member of (CLEF). He was a good idea-man and very enthusiastic about helping law enforcement, and he was just a great guy,” Cumming said.

Quick was also a founding member of WERC, a nonprofit organization in west Morgan Hill that treats injured wild animals and releases them back into their natural habitat.

“He donated his services to care for wildlife, which resulted in many animals being given a second chance for life,” said WERC executive director Sue Howell.

Quick served on the Rotary Club board of directors at least two terms over the years. He was a film editor in Chicago, Ill. before becoming a vet in Morgan Hill. At the time of his death, he was the northern California veterinarian for the California Condor Project, a statewide effort to protect the endangered bird.

Quick often brought his passion for community causes to local public meetings. Foster, a former trustee of the Morgan Hill Unified School District, said he and Quick didn’t always agree on the issues but they still got along.

“You can butt heads with John, and still joke around with him or have lunch with him. He never seemed to hold a grudge.”

Reporter Michael Moore contributed to this report.

Love for Wildlife

  • Active in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation since 1983. The total value of his donated services over the years is well in excess of $750,000.

  • From 1983 to 1991 he was the veterinarian for the Youth Science Institute Wildlife Rescue Program.

  • Quick and Sean Simonsen founded the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC). He served as board president for five years

  • He recruited veterinary specialists, including, Dr. James Roush, who saved the only nesting Bald Eagle in Santa Clara County after it was hit by a truck.

  • Northern California veterinarian for the California Condor Project, providing expertise and services to the restoration of the endangered bird. There are only 350 condors left in the world. In 1988 there were only eight.

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