Bissett and Quinn gave countless hours to help others


Goodland Twp. Fire Chief Don Bissett led his department for 20 years.

TRI-CITY AREA — The Lapeer County fire service lost two dedicated men in the past few weeks, both from the Imlay City and Almont areas.

Goodland Twp. Fire Chief Don Bissett, 70, of Imlay City passed away April 6. Chief Bissett was a member of the Goodland Twp Fire Department for 24 years and served as the department’s Chief for 20 years.

Firefighter Tom Quinn, 84, of Almont, passed away on Easter Sunday. Quinn had been a member of the Almont Fire Department for more than four decades, finishing with 47 years of service on the department.

According to his obituary, Tom lived in Almont for 62 years, and for 47 of those years served with the brave men and women of the Almont Fire Department, whom he considered family.

Those close to him on the department and that knew Tom said if you bumped into him, you’d likely remember him.

A towering 6 feet 9 inches and with a jovial personality and a belly laugh to match, he was hard to miss. Friends say he touched the lives of many Almont residents with his sense of humor, kindness and compassion.

Those who knew him best said Tom was an avid fisherman, euchre player and grandpa. He spent many weekends enjoying all three at his cottage in St. Helen.

Chief Don Smith said Tom loved the fire service and enjoyed when kids came to the station for tours or the firefighters went to classrooms to teach fire safety. Tom’s life exemplified the saying that “it’s easy to be nice to people.”

Tom’s laugh, easygoing nature and happy demeanor will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Sharon Quinn, who was the love of his life for 62 wonderful years.

Tom and Sharon had a son, Tom Junior (wife Lisa) and a daughter Colleen (husband Rob Dean). They also had four grandchildren: and five great-grandchildren. Tom was the fourth of Richard and Lucille Quinn’s ten children. For those who wish to pay respects, Tom’s family simiply asks that you do something kind for someone in need.

Goodland Township Fire Chief Bissett, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2024. He married Gail Louise Stern on August 10, 1974, in Capac, MI. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gail, on June 22, 2020.

According to his obituary, Don retired from Champion Bus Corporation, a motor home and bus manufacturer in Imlay City, where he was a purchasing agent. Don started working on vehicle assembly, moved into management and on to purchasing. Don had lived almost all of his life in Goodland Township.

He was a graduate of Imlay City High School, Class of 1972. He was very involved in the fire service, having served as a past chairman of Lapeer County Fire Association. Don dedicated a large part of his life to the Goodland Twp. Firefighter, serving for 35 years (1986- 2021) and led the department as the Goodland Twp. Fire Chief for 20 years.

He is well respected in the fire service and was a source of information for many volunteers involved with the fire department.

Don was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Burnside, attended St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church in North Branch and was a member of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus in Imlay City.

He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and, when he had time, hunting, fishing, and golfing. He always found time to assist his wife Gail and his children with their 4-H, Boy Scout, and Girl Scout projects.

Don is survived by his daughters, Jennifer (Mark) Lysakowsky of St. Clair Shores, MI and Julie Bissett of Imlay City, MI; sons, Jason (Julie) Bissett of Davison, MI, Jonathan (Nicole) Bissett of Davison, MI and Joshua (Kristi) Bissett of Shelby, NC; his sisters, Anna Bissett of New Baltimore, MI, Patricia Kimery of Imlay City, MI and Loretta (John) Thurlow of North Branch, MI; and brothers: Robert (Kristy) Bissett of Yale, MI and Edward (Amy) Bissett of Otisville, MI.

He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren. Those wishing to make memorial contributions may direct them to Neighbor’s United.