Thursday, March 5, 2015

Roger ‘Terry’ Turner

From page A4 | April 19, 2013 |

Turner, Roger

July 15, 1938 – April 15, 2013

Art, social justice and family were the mainstays of Terry Turner’s life, which was brought to an end by complications resulting from pancreatic cancer on April 15, 2013. Active, positive and brave through his illness, he continued painting and enjoying his friends and family in spite of the disease.

Terry was born in Springfield, Ohio, and grew up in Cincinnati. He moved to Davis with his family in 1963.

Education was an important part of his life. After graduating from UC Davis and completing his MFA at Kent State University, he never stopped studying and learning. Through a Fulbright Fellowship, he studied the life and art of Paul Robeson at Rutgers University and, last year, Terry traveled to Mississippi on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study the history of the civil rights movement.

His dedication to education and art was also evident in the 35 years he spent teaching and mentoring generations of students at Woodland Community College as a professor of art and humanities.

At an early age, Terry became active in the civil rights movement, a commitment that took him to Selma, Ala., on the freedom march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. His passion for social justice and racial equality never wavered throughout his lifetime. In Davis, he was an active member of Davis Religious Community of Sanctuary and the West Yolo Democratic Club, and he was chair of the sister-city organization, Friends of Rutilio Grande. In 2005, he was honored by the Human Rights Commission with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

An active painter, Terry produced many art shows and contributed to the art community throughout his lifetime. He continued to work at his studio at The Brickhouse Gallery in Oak Park up to his death. An exhibition of his current work will be on view in October at the Quercia Gallery in Duncans Mills .

He is survived by his life partner, Cynthia Kellogg; his daughter, Ruby Harris; his son, Nathan Turner; his two grandsons, Dion and Ryan Harris; his stepdaughter, Laura Carr; his stepgranddaughter, Raina Carr McKee; and a host of family members in Ohio.

A graveside service is scheduled at the Davis Cemetery on Monday, April 22, at 2 pm. A celebration of Terry’s life is planned for a later date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Terry are invited to contribute to a scholarship fund for art students at Woodland Community College. Donations may be sent to: Terry Turner Scholarship Fund, c/o The Woodland Community College Foundation, 2300 E. Gibson Road, Woodland, CA 95776.

Those who wish to sign a guestbook online may do so at



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