DANIEL E. TURNER

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FRYEBURG -- Daniel E. Turner of Fryeburg passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at MaineMedical Center in Portland, four days before his 70th birthday. He was 69 years old.

Born in Skowhegan on Nov. 24, 1942, to Walter and Gertrude Turner, he was the sixth of 13 children. He attended local schools, graduating from Skowhegan High School in 1961. He continued his education at Bowdoin College, class of 1965, where he received a degree in physics. He received his master's degree in education in 1971 from the University of Minnesota.

In 1965, Mr. Turner moved to Fitchburg, Mass., with his new wife, Geraldine, and started his teaching career at Fitchburg High School. A year later he moved back to Maine to work at Bridgton Academy. In 1969 the Turners found their home in Fryeburg, where they raised four children and where Mr. Turner began teaching physics at Fryeburg Academy, as well as a multitude of different mathematics courses. Over the next 43 years, Mr. Turner educated and inspired a countless number of students, acted as a mentor to young teachers and was a friend to everyone. He continued to do that through his final day.

His career in education extended well beyond the classroom. Mr. Turner served as athletic director, class advisor, student council advisor, tutor and was an avid supporter of Fryeburg Academy activities. From athletic events, to school plays, concerts and even dances, he was ever-present. For years Mr. Turner organized, volunteered and, especially, donated regularly at innumerable blood drives. He encouraged all to do the same.

A former athlete, he played football, basketball and baseball at Skowhegan High School and was inducted into the Skowhegan Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. He went on to play both football and baseball at Bowdoin College. Most memorably, Mr. Turner was a coach. Over the span of his teaching career he coached baseball, basketball and football.

His true passion was football. He coached football as an assistant at Fitchburg High School and Bridgton Academy. He became the head coach his first year at Fryeburg Academy and continued in that role for 27 seasons. He was selected as an assistant coach for three Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl games and was named the head coach of the 1996 west squad.

In recent years, he continued coaching at Molly Ockett Middle School in Fryeburg.

When he wasn't teaching or coaching, Mr. Turner spent his time doing other things he loved. That included working out at the fitness center, cycling, working in his vegetable garden, doing crossword puzzles, listening to bluegrass music or sitting outside to feed and watch the birds. But he loved nothing more than spending time with his family attending football games with his sons, sharing outdoor activities with his daughter, going on trips up the coast with his wife and, especially, playing with his four granddaughters.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Geraldine (Dostie) Turner; daughter Cheryl Turner and her husband, Ronald Schneider, of Wells; sons Chris Turner of Buxton, David Turner and his wife, Nicki Chewning, of Fryeburg and Brian Turner of Buxton; granddaughters Kayla and Megan Schneider, Isabella Turner and Brittany Ross and Avery Turner; brothers Jim Turner, Robert Turner and Linwood Turner; and sisters Irene Siket, Minnie Martell, Sheila Staples, June Marks, Jane DeMatteo, Roberta Corson and Winona Malbon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Gertrude Turner; and his sisters, Teresa Smith and Sally Baker.

We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Dr. Paul Weldner and his surgical team, Jesse and the Special Care Unit team of nurses, and the entire staff at MaineMedical Center. They worked tirelessly to save his life and make him and our family as comfortable as possible.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m., a celebration of life will be held at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center on the campus of Fryeburg Academy.

In lieu of flowers please "give the gift of life" by donating blood or contributing to the . Arrangements are made with Wood Funeral Home, Fryeburg. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.org.

Published in Morning Sentinel from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29, 2012
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