Soccer fields named in honor of Quinn

By Marilyn Tennissen | Aug 14, 2007

Becky Quinn and her children gathered Aug. 14 for the official dedication of the soccer fields named in honor of her late husband, attorney Cris Quinn.

A soccer field named in honor of a Beaumont attorney will celebrate what the man loved in life, rather than remind the community of the tragic circumstances of his death.

Tuesday local elected officials, youth soccer participants, members of the legal community and friends joined the family of the late Cris Quinn to see the official name change of the Meadows Soccer Complex to the Cris Quinn Memorial Soccer Complex.

"Without Cris, I doubt these soccer fields would be here today," said former District Judge Richard LeBlanc and current general manager of Jefferson County Drainage District No. 6.

The drainage district owns the land on Dishman Road in Beaumont's West End where the soccer complex is located. The complex, which opened in 1994, has 10 full-size fields and is home to the Beaumont Youth Soccer Club and Spindletop Select Soccer Club.

Quinn volunteered extensively with the soccer clubs and would often be found mowing the fields in the evenings or working to get a concession stand built at the complex.

Friends spoke of Quinn as a "giant among men" and a "true gentlemen's gentlemen."

The young lawyer was shot and killed five years ago at his Beaumont law office by a would-be client.

Shortly before 9 a.m. June 12, 2002, Vidor resident Richard Gerzine, 79, asked to see Quinn and after entering the lawyer's office took out a shotgun he had concealed in a cardboard box as a fishing pole. Gerzine fired two shots at Quinn, striking him in the chest. A lawyer in the next office rushed in and held Gerzine until the police arrived.

Quinn was only 47 and the father of five children.

Gerzine said he was angry with Quinn, a senior partner at Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, for refusing to file an asbestos case on his behalf. Quinn had told Gerzine that the case did not have merit.

Gerzine was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, and died in prison in 2005.

But the focus of Tuesday's event was Cris Quinn,the family man and devout Catholic who gave hours of his personal time and thousands of his own dollars to support youth soccer in Southeast Texas.

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