Donald Elwin Turpin
July 29, 1936 - September 16, 2017
Donald E. TurpinJuly 29, 1936 - September 16, 2017 On September 16, 2017, Donald (Don) E. Turpin 81 years old, loss his 10 year battle to cancer and was reunited with his son, Tim Turpin and daughter Tasha Turpin. He leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Verna Mae Turpin, Daughter Deborah Ramirez, Son Mark Turpin, Daughter in-law Linda Turpin, 6 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
He was a man full of life who loved people and people loved him.There were no strangers in his eyes, only friends.He remembered every face and name and greeted everyone with opened arms, making they feel as if he had known them for all his life.His passion was teaching, dedicating 60 years to public education. He taught at Bowles School in September of 1956. After two years he started teaching to Terry Elementary School at Selma Unified where he worked for 35 years, 15 years as a 7th and 8th grade teacher and 21 years as a principal. After retiring in 1992, he began teaching Adult Independent Studies for another 23 years. He never viewed years in the education as work but a time to spend with his students to teach, build relationships and establish lifelong friendships.
Spending time with family meant the world to him. He never missed a birthday party, graduation, holiday or a special celebration. His children and grandchildren will always cherish the time they had with him, especially the summers spent at Shaver Lake, camping, fishing and roasting marshmallows.
On June 9, 1956 he married his wife, Verna Mae Schwabenland. There was never any doubt of how much he loved his wife. They were inseparable and he said marrying her was the smartest thing he ever did. In Don's own words, “she knows the true meaning of in sickness and in health until death do us part.”
Although he has left an empty place in the hearts of many people and life without him will never be the same, we find comfort in knowing we will one day be reunited again.He was a strong man with many gifts and talents. He was funny, a storyteller, jokester, craftsman, fisherman, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and of course a teacher. He leaves behind a legacy of true passion for teaching and giving back to the community of Selma. His love for his students, families and community was evident in his years of services in public education, the thousands of students he taught and the many teachers he guided.
Memorial was held at 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at The Presbyterian Church of Fowler. Remembrances: Tim Turpin Memorial, Fowler High School, 701 E. Main St., Fowler, CA 93662 or The Presbyterian Church of Fowler, 408 E. Merced St., Fowler, CA 93625.