Louis Coburn Turner of Falmouth, who had coordinated herring counts in town for many years, participating since 2006, died December 29. He was 87.
He was the husband of Lee Robinson Turner, to whom he was married for 61 years.
Born in East Walpole, as a child he explored the outdoors and went fishing, pastimes that would stay with him throughout his life. While a student at Westborough High School he received several awards for both academics and athletics, and earned a full scholarship to Dartmouth College.
Mr. Turner was captain of the football team at Dartmouth and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1955 and received the Barrett All-Round Achievement Cup to honor the member of the graduating class who “shows the greatest promise of becoming a factor in the outside world through strength of character and qualities of leadership, record of scholarship and broad achievement, and influence among their fellow students.” He also earned a master’s degree in science from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth in 1956.
His time as a counselor and aides director at Camp Becket in the Berkshires inspired him to begin a 43-year career as an educator. His first teaching position was at the Mount Hermon School, and he also taught at Athens College in Greece, where he and his family enjoyed the first of many annual summer camping trips across Europe, the United States and Canada.
The majority of his teaching career was at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, where he taught for 30 years and with his wife raised their family on campus. He mentored many students and colleagues as a physics and astronomy teacher and tennis and football coach. He supervised the design and construction of the Frost Observatory and opened it up for community star-gazing.
In his later years at the academy Mr. Turner embraced a student-centered approach to teaching that emphasized inquiry and experimentation in physics. His contributions to the development of the physics curriculum included co-authoring Conceptual Kinematics, a computer program designed to give students additional help in understanding position, velocity and acceleration. He also co-authored the CASTLE Electricity Curriculum for high school students.
He and his wife retired to Falmouth in 2001. Here Mr. Turner served as chairman of the Oyster Pond Environmental Trust, and was a founding member and the first president of the Coonamessett River Trust, as well as organizing annual and seasonal waterfowl and herring counts.
He participated in the Falmouth Democratic Town Committee. Mr. Turner was among the delegates from the Upper Cape who traveled to the DCU Center in Worcester to attend the 2017 Massachusetts Democratic Party State Convention, where Democrats from across the commonwealth gathered for the purpose of adopting a new state party platform.
A member of Falmouth Fishermen’s Association and a Community Health Center board member, he also participated in the men’s group at the First Congregational Church of Falmouth
In addition to his community service activities during his retirement years, Mr. Turner pursued his love of fishing for bluefish and striped bass aboard his Boston Whaler, the Kingfisher, and enjoyed birding and playing tennis.
Besides his wife, he leaves three children, Nancy Turner and her husband, David Cain, of Waitsfield, Vermont, Stephen Turner and his wife, Eliza Turner, of Larkspur, California, and Brian Turner and his wife, Dana Jessup, of Milton; six grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Mary Robinson Whittemore of Marlborough; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his older brother.
An outdoor service in Falmouth will be at a future time.