Donald Turkington

Donald Turkington

Donald Turkington passed away on June 18, 2017. He was born November 26, 1922, in Ironton, Ohio, the son of Harry and Helen Turkington. His parents were Salvation Army officers who served primarily in Ohio and New York State. Don spent his childhood and early teens in Tully and Cortland, New York, where he was imbued with a love for all music, especially the Big Band era. After the death of his father in 1938, his mother took the family to Detroit, Michigan, where she took a job in a factory and established a home.
Don joined the US Navy at the outbreak of World War II and served aboard the USS Cabana, a destroyer escort, in the South Pacific. His ship was involved in island hopping campaigns during this time. He was selected from the fleet to enter the V-12 program which trained naval officers in colleges and universities.
He was assigned to the University of Michigan and then to St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota, where he met and married his wife Arline in 1945. Their daughter Leslie Ann was born in Winona in 1947, then later joined by her brother Scott in 1958. Don graduated from St. Mary’s College and took his first teaching job in Wells, Minnesota. After his initial stint there, the family moved to Minneapolis, where Don attended graduate school for his Masters’ degree. He accepted a job in Middle River, Minnesota, where he served as principal, science teacher and bandmaster.
Then, in 1950, the family moved to Eldora, Iowa, where Don served as principal. The next step was Minneapolis, where he was privileged to serve as teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal for many years. His last assignment was as principal of Susan B. Anthony Junior High School in South Minneapolis. Don was the director of several choral groups and choirs over the years, including the Franklin Creamery Male Chorus, the Knights of Columbus Chorus, and the Holy Family Church Choir. A great lover of classical music and a lifelong trumpet player, Don played in almost every style in local bands and orchestras.
Throughout his life, Don maintained a deep and abiding faith in family values and the importance of community service, and served in many city wide committees. He is remembered with great love as a father, husband and respected member of the community.
He is survived by his wife Arline, sister Helen Walker of Holland, MI, daughter Leslie, son Scott, grandchildren Alexander and Stephanie, great-granddaughter Lucy, all of Minneapolis, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
A Solemn Pontifical High Mass was held on Thursday, June 22, 2017, 2 p.m. at the Church of St. Mark in St. Paul, MN. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Andrew H. Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was the celebrant.

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