1851 Holser Walk, Suite 200, Oxnard, CA 93036
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I had the great pleasure of knowing Don and Linda through my work. I was one of Don's physicians for many years. The "Can Do" spirit is a spot-on description, including for Linda. Always full of life, laughter, love, and immesurable strength. Don will be missed by me, my staff and colleagues, and everyone who knew him. God Bless.
Steven LeDesma, M.D.
May 14, 2011
I served under Master Chief Turner in Com Seabee Pac Hawaii. He was a great man & friend. After I got out of the Navy I moved onto the same block as him and didn't know it. I lived at 3730 Oarfish Lane. I saw him one day as I was going to the park with my girls and I stopped and talked to him for over an hour. My girls didn't complain because he included them in the conversation and made them feel like they'd know him all their life. They always stopped and talked to him when they saw him outside.
He'll be sorely missed by everyone he touched. He was truly larger than life and the Ultimate SEABEE. Rest in peace, GOD BLESS and thanks for all your help.
BU2 Tom D Radecki
April 26th, 2011
My children and I attended "Uncle Donald's" Moving memorial service this past weekend. He was an amazing, loving, giant of a man. It's hard to believe that he is gone.
My son, Finn, wants to grow up to be a Seabee because of Uncle Donald and John Wayne. Not bad company!
God bless you all and know that Uncle Don was greatly loved and will be sorely missed. Thank you for sharing him with us!
Kim, Finn and Avery Sheridan
April 25, 2011
I only knew you for only about a couple of months and I knew you only as the generous person who would come by to the Cottage Inn every Monday morning and visit Woody Schumate, a great WWII vet. Naturally as my mom, Helen is still there with Woody, our visits would often coincide and I was always impressed by your positive attitude, booming voice and presence, and humor. You, me, and Woody, would get into some pretty deep discussions about family, success, joy, common sense, and living life to the fullest. And although it is now only after you have gone on to the Supreme Commander that I have learned of your rich and respected life as a SeaBee, I am deeply greatful that I got to meet you those special Monday mornings at breakfast and got to know you as a man who shared with us your love and wisdom of life. It was wonderful to get to know you Don. Woody and I miss you very much.
We will see you in heaven and rejoice with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
April 23rd, 2011
I am EACS Ron Andaya (Ret). I first met EOC Turner when we were deployed in Diego Garcia with NMCB 3 in 1975. He was a very imposing CHIEF as EACS Tim Buckley (my mentor then) said in his remarks yesterday at MC's memorial service.
We crossed path again when we attended a Counseling Class in mid-1980. He was already a master chief and I was EA1. The PO2 class facilitator introduced himself with his first name and he told our class that we will address each one in first name basis. There were officers, chiefs and other enlisted in the class. So everyone introduced themselves with their first names and when it came to Don, he told everyone that his first and second name was "Master Chief". He then proceed to put the instructor in his proper place in the military hierarchy.
The most memorable time I spent with him or experience his great leadership was in 1986. I was a CPO selectee and stationed at CBMU-302 Subis Bay and he was the CMC of NMCB FIVE. His first words of wisdom was he will teach me to be "The Chief". My first assignment was to wake him up at 0 dark thirty in the morning for a week in my 782 gear with poncho and bang on his door and sing the Seabee Song while serving him hot coffe and donuts. He then told me that those hazings will teach me humility and to remember the people who placed me there - my troops.
I admired this man and the Seabees lost a true Seabee's Seabee.
May our God give you strength and courage in these difficult times.
April 18, 2011
God Bless You Don Turner,
You are, and will always be, a legend in the Seabees.
You will be missed.
Dennis Ward BUC(SCW)(Ret)
San Angelo, TX
April 16, 2011
In Memory of Don Turner
I first met Senior Chief Don Turner when I arrived on Diego Garcia in October 1980 as the new Intelligence and Training Officer for NMCB FORTY. When I met Don, he was the Alfa Three and was in his hardhat and green utilities shorts; he seemed like he was over ten feet tall. He welcomed me to the island and told me that he would be the best teacher/mentor that I would ever have. He far exceeded those words and in addition, he became a Role Model, a Big Brother, and a great and selfless friend. When we returned to homeport, he was promoted to Master Chief and reassigned as the Alfa Five. I was reassigned as the Operations Officer. For the next two years, we were seamless as we tried to run the Battalion, the 30THNCR, the 31STNCR, and CBPAC. Don continuously created and exploited every opportunity to lead from the front, to ensure that we far exceeded our assigned workload, to make every day fun and exciting, and to propel the Battalion and every one of its members to unprecedented heights of personal and professional performance. In NMCB FORTY and every one of his Seabee tours and with the Seabee Veterans of America…he was larger than life itself…he was bigger than the Seabee in front of the Needham Theater in Port Hueneme and the Seabee at the Seabee Memorial in Washington, DC.
Carol, my son Chris, and I were blessed to share in Don’s family life. Linda took care of Chris while Carol and I were at work. When Carol would go to the Turner home after work to pick up Chris, she often would find Chris in Don’s arms as he was rocking Chris in his rocking chair. Don and Linda helped tremendously to ensure that Chris had a great foundation and start in life.
Regretfully, time flies by so fast. Over the next 28 years, we made sure that we stayed in touch. When I returned to Port Hueneme over the years, I would always get a Big Hug from Don and Linda and we would always have a lot of laughs and re-live our never ending Seabee stories and fun times.
Linda and the Turner family. You have our deepest condolences and heartfelt thoughts and prayers. We miss Don terribly. Thank you very much for sharing Don with thousands of Seabees and their families and especially with us. Don touched and had a tremendous impact on every one he met and made everyone a better person. I am sure that Don is looking down over you… and has on his hardhat and is sitting on the biggest piece of equipment that he could find - paving Heaven to make it an even better place.
VADM, CEC, USN (RET)
April 16, 2011
I met Mr. Don Turner at Dairy Queen. He was not just the customer, he was a good friend. Mr. Don always came in with a big smile and great personality. I remember one day we were talking about the Seabees. I told him my father was a Seabee too and ever since we have been good friends. I would see Mr. Don once a month at Dairy Queen. He would come in to get his month supplies of NSA bars and medium cup of chocolate ice cream. The last time I saw him was in March. He came in with his sister in law. I was very chocked to heard of the news that he had passed a way. Rest in Peace Mr. Don .
April 16, 2011
Funny story: Master Chief Turner was our CMC when we served together in NMCB 5. Because our battalion had several detachments literally spread around the world on our deployment to PI, Master Chief and I did a lot of flying together with many flights on foreign flag aircraft. Master Chief loved calamari (squid) and it was common for these foreign flag airlines to serve calamari snacks just the same as they serve peanuts on US airlines. On some of those long flights, Master Chief would start his own recon mission through the cabin in search of calamari that the other passengers didn't care for. Of course, he would always return with lots of his treasured booty! Now,of course, these other international travelers were complete strangers to Master Chief when the flight lifted off but I soon discovered that the word "stranger" was not in his vocabulary. There were no strangers with Master Chief because that was the type Seabee he was throughout his whole career. Master Chief Don Turner was the definition of Seabee. If calamari is being served in Heaven, then you had better get your fill now!!
BZ, Master Chief.
CAPT, CEC, USN (Ret)
CO NMCB 5
I remember him as Chief Turner, MCB 8, DaNang, Vietnam, 1969. There is a
phrase he said to me that I'll never forget, "True, what happened to
the frontend loader?!" Long story, funny now, picture in the cruise book
didn't do it justice. Suffice it to say he took care of me after a
pretty expensive dumb mistake on my part. I've never forgotten his
kindness that tour. He was a great Seabee.
Jim True, RP1 (EO2)
April, 16, 2011
Master Chief Turner was a Seabee's Seabee! I am very saddened by the
news of his passing. I remember how he helped me when I was a new S3 in
THREE in 1990. He frequently took me under his wing and shared his
experience and wisdom with me, and for that I'll be forever grateful.
He was a larger than life presence for the entire battalion to look up
to and, without doubt, positively touched many lives. May God bless
you, Master Chief.
CAPT, CEC, USN (ret)
April 15, 2011
I didn't have the luxury of spending much time with the Chief, only for
the week he spent with our family in Maryland, and another spent in
South Carolina. But he was the type of man to really bring out the best
in people. He was someone with whom I instantly felt comfortable with,
and he was the first one to whom I confided in about my budding
relationship with the woman who is now my wife. The Chief had that
effect on folks. He was a good man, and though we are all the poorer
for his passing, I hope your family finds comfort and solace in the
knowledge that he's doing his dynamite Elvis impression in Heaven now.
God Bless you all,
April 15, 2011
Don Turner touched so many lives and will be remembered with love and
gratitude for having known him. I am among those who knew him Master
Chief Don Turner of the Seabees. He fit the image and embodied the “Can
Do” spirit. When the opportunity arose I was able to get him assigned as
Command Master Chief of the Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme
(as the Seabee base was then known.) He was my senior enlisted advisor
and he was a great friend and frequent companion as we tried to create a
helpful climate throughout the base for the Seabees and other military
personnel and their families. I have a distinct recollection of the two
of us having fun with the toddlers at the child care center and meeting
the returning Seabees at Mugu. He was a walkin’, talkin’ morale
booster, who never seemed to show a negative thought. Now, that doesn’t
mean he couldn’t put the fear of God in a wayward sailor with statements
like,, “Young man, you disappointed me,” and then guided him back to
the right path. I did not know he went on to be involved with probation
work for the County, but I can visualize him doing well in that
It was great to see the photos from his Seabee days. He was in his
element with mud on his boots and with his massive hands on the wheel or
tiller of a piece of construction equipment. And who can forget his
Elvis routine at the Port Hueneme Men’s Follies? He was a Teddy bear,
Thanks, Don for all you did for so many starting with a wonderful
family, friends, shipmates and the Ventura County region. We salute you.
Captain CEC USN (ret.)
April 15, 2011
Just a quick story about Master Chief Turner to share with all. In the
mid 1980's I was blessed to have met Don while volunteering for the
Special Olympics at UCLA. I was a CE2 at the time and was very
intimidated (scared) by this moutain of a man that I had never heard of.
We roomed together in the Campus dorms, (man could he snore)so during
some down time, we all got to talking and telling Sea Stories. Man did
he have a lot. Everyone of them was funny, long and had a lesson for
all of us. He set me straight on a few things as he did everyone, but
the thing that he impressed on me the most, is the CPO is there for us.
If we ever had a problem he told us to seek out a Chief Petty Officer.
And if they didn't help he wanted to know about it. From that time on I
knew I had to be part of what he represented. I also learned that he
loved to sing Elvis songs. I think every oppurtunity he had that
weekend he was singing for someone. On the first day as I was walking
some of the athletes to there events, I look over to one of the news
crews that were covering the events, and who is over there none other
than Don Turner. And of course what was he doing, had the reporters mic
in his hand and singing to the camera. I can see him now singing to
the Lord Almighty any number of Elvis songs and saying I have a better
one for you, "The Song of the Seabees".
Condolences and God Bless the Turner Family.
UCCM(SCW) Retired, Tom DeWitt
April 15, 2011
I will never forget Master Chief Turner while he served as Judge during my CPO initiation at Subic Bay Philippines in September 1986. I had never met such an intimidating man with such a big booming voice. He had me shaking in my boots when he yelled my name. After initiation, I later learned he was fiercely proud Seabee and a very compassionate mentor. Rest in Peace Big Don, you are definitely a legend in the US Navy Seabees, you will be missed. My sincerest condolences to the entire Turner family. Sincerely, CWO5 Bill "Beetle" Bailey, CEC, USN (Ret) Gulfport, Mississippi
April 15, 2011
I had met EQCM Turner when I was in A school. There are some people you meet you know they are special and are caring, honest, and decent. He reminded me of my father a very caring person. My father to has just passed a couple months ago it devestated me because of how he suffered the last weeks of his life. What I learned is that it not how you leave this world but what you make of it while you are here. How Don lived his life is to the fullest is his gift to his family and everyone he has touched in this world. We are going to miss this great man and we will always remember his greatness. He will always be father Seabee in my memories. God bless you and your family!
April 15, 2011
Good day Seabee! I can still hear his voice. There was never a Seabee with more life then Master Chief Turner. If you knew him you would agree. If you didn’t then you missed out on a man larger than life that always had something positive to say. I spent 10 years in the Seabees and can’t think of anyone who had more Seabee spirit then Master Chief Turner.
April 15, 2011
After the passing of our Mother in 2007 Don entered our family's life as a Hospice Volunteer. While our father was somewhat resistant to any new friends at first , he & Don were able to find common ground in their Military service.
Don had such a down to earth manner he was able to fit into just about any situation & find a place in Dad's life. He could be counted on to visit every Monday & to show up at every celebration with a coconut cream pie.
We will miss his giving spirit and his kind heart.
April 15, 2011 Just a quick story about Master Chief Turner to share with all. In the mid 1980's I was blessed to have met Don while volunteering for the Special Olympics at UCLA. I was a CE2 at the time and was very intimidated (scared) by this moutain of a man that I had never heard of. We roomed together in the Campus dorms, (man could he snore)so during some down time, we all got to talking and telling Sea Stories. Man did he have a lot. Everyone of them was funny, long and had a lesson for all of us. He set me straight on a few things as he did everyone, but the thing that he impressed on me the most, is the CPO is there for us. If we ever had a problem he told us to seek out a Chief Petty Officer. And if they didn't help he wanted to know about it. From that time on I knew I had to be part of what he represented. I also learned that he loved to sing Elvis songs. I think every oppurtunity he had that weekend he was singing for someone. On the first day as I was walking some of the athletes to there events, I look over to one of the news crews that were covering the events, and who is over there none other than Don Turner. And of course what was he doing, had the reporters mic in his hand and singing to the camera. I can see him now singing to the Lord Almighty any number of Elvis songs and saying I have a better one for you, "The Song of the Seabees". Condolences and God Bless the Turner Family. UCCM(SCW) Retired, Tom DeWitt From: Sykes, Marshall T CAPT NFELC, 00 Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 9:54 To: NAVFAC ELC AllHands Cc: Korka, John W Commodore, 31st SRG & NFELC, N00; Gomez, Paz B CAPT ESC CO; Muilenburg, Bret J Commodore 30th NCR, R00; Cook, Richard D CAPT CSFE, N00; Sasek, David J CAPT NAVBASE Ventura County, N00; Nevel, Bruce C CDR 31ST SRG, CSO; Hutchison, Alexander K LCDR 31SRG R7 Subject: FW: MCPO Don Turner Reported to the Staff of the Supreme Commander at 1600 12 April 2011 All: It is with a sad heart that I relay to you that Master Chief Don Turner passed away yesterday. He will be missed by the Seabees, the CPO Mess, and the NBVC community. He was a stalwart in the Seabees having served as Master Chief of the Pacific Fleet Seabees and Command Master Chief for the Third Naval Construction Brigade. He was also the Command Master Chief for Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme, NMCB THREE, and NMCB FIVE. In addition, he had assignments with nearly every other Seabee Command in Port Hueneme during his 39 years of active and reserve military duty. Details regarding his memorial service are below. V/r, MTS
April 14, 2011
Lisa Zimmerman Thank you so much for sending this - it is a fitting tribute, worthy of the king...."Elvis"...Master Chief Don Turner! I've known Master Chief Turner, for many, many years, and I consider him a friend, and part of my Seabee family. I remember speaking to him when I was a young Seabee wife, and my husband was working himself to death, with none, to only a few hours sleep a night for long stretches of time, to get all the Seabees and equipment safely out to Gulf War I. I missed my husband, and was worried about him. Master Chief Turner took the time to talk with me and comfort me, and explain to me how amazing Seabees were, and how amazing my Seabee was, and then he went out and encouraged Chuck too. Knowing Chiefs as I do now, he may have said more than an encouraging word to my husband, but that was between them. What he didn't do was dismiss the cares and concerns of a young troop and his wife thousands of miles away....first experiencing the separation of war. Master Chief Turner was a super great/ super caring guy! When Chuck retired, Master Chief Turner told a whooper of a tale at his dinner. I could tell it was a whooper, but most of the dinner guests had no idea until the punch line. He had the crowd rolling in laughter. If you had never experienced his rendition of Elvis - he was great! In his voice as rich and sweet as caramel, he would sing in his white Elvis, 1 piece suit, with the bell bottom flares and the high collar, and swivel his hips. All to make sure everyone was keeping it real, and not getting too puffy about themselves. "Love me Tender", just as the Elvis song he used to sing. That is how he loved the Seabees, their families, and all the Seabee community. He loved us all tenderly. We will miss him forever. I miss him already. -Lisa
Bret Henry, President, San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters, Local 935 "Hoo-Rah Master Chief! Rest in Peace."
CM2 Hernandez (NMCB3 1991-1995) Great man, great leader. EQCM Turner had the natural ability to touch and change the lives of thousands of future leaders in the Seabees. God Bless EQCM (SCW) Turner. My sincere condolences to the Turner Family.
CAPT Michael J. O'Connor, CEC, USN (ret) It is with a great deal of sadness that I learned of Master Chief Turner's passing. Master Chief Turner was bigger than life and he had a great deal of influence on my success in the Civil Engineer Corps. I will never forget when I checked into NMCB Five as a young and green lieutenant at Camp Moscrip in Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico. I was being taken around the quad to meet the various department heads. As we passed the Master Chief's office, as if almost on cue, his door opened and an arm as big as a tree trunk came out, grabbed me by the shoulder and pulled me into his office. He told my escort to move along as I would be detained for awhile. For the next hour or so, Master Chief Turner told me everything I needed to know to be successful in the Seabees. I was in total awe (and still am) of this mountain of a man. Throughout my career, I often reflected back to that first encounter and the advice he provided me on troop leadership, and the history and honor of having the opportunity to lead troops from the world's finest group of young men and women. Thank goodness his advice stuck, as I never would have survived my over three years in battalion or my future tours in the Civil Engineer Corps without it. So it is with a great deal of sadness that I say farewell to a truly remarkable and one of a kind Seabee. But it is with a great deal of pride to be able to say I served with Master Chief Turner, and that he made all the difference in my Navy career and my success in retirement. So to Master Chief Turner, May God Bless you with fair winds and following seas, and I hope to meet up with you to let you know what a positive effect you've had on my life. Most respectfully, CAPT Michael J. O'Connor, CEC, USN (ret) Michael J. O'Connor, PE Director, Physical Plant Appalachian State University (828)262-3190 x 106 (703)307-2511 cell firstname.lastname@example.org