NORRIDGEWOCK -- Kenneth Joseph Turk, 64, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 30, 2013, at the family home in Norridgewock. He was born in Portland on Aug. 26, 1948, the third son of Ernest O. Turk and Dorothy L. (Wood) Turk. He was predeceased by his father, Ernest Turk.
He was a graduate of Loma Linda Academy (California), Cal State University San Bernardino, and University of California, Riverside, with a Ph.D. in agronomy (commercial agriculture).
He was a "citizen of the world," developing his love for travel at age 12 with his first cross-country trip to California where the family settled. After nine years of working in commercial agriculture, he served in the Peace Corps in Belize, and then on assignments with non-governmental development and relief organizations in Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Israel.
He had an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge which he conveyed to others with enthusiasm and humor while conversing on any subject you wished to discuss or debate. He demonstrated his passion for photography with pictures of wildlife and culture from around the world. He organized countless family photographs digitally on computer so they can be enjoyed by the family for generations to come.
Ken was a loving and caring man who will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his mother, Dorothy, of Norridgewock; Mary Wahito Ciugu, of Nairobi, Kenya, his companion of 20 years; his brothers, Ronald, and wife Mary Lou, of Greeneville, Tenn., and William and wife Nancy, of Norridgewock; his sister, Kathryn (Turk), and husband Carson Wood, of Westbrook; his daughter, Heidi Busch, of Ceres, Calif.; his son, Adam Turk, of Salida, Calif.; Ruthie Turk, the mother of his children; Kabura Ciugu and Kui Ciugu-Krabbe of Nairobi, Kenya, who considered him their father; his grandchildren, Christopher Busch, of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and Rachel Munoz, of Ceres, Calif.; and 10 nieces and nephews, one of whom, Mark, shared his Aug. 26 birthday.
A private family memorial service will be on Friday, June 7, 2013, at Norridgewock Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan.