In Memory of John Turner

 It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Band Alumnus John Turner, on June 19, 2010. He is probably better known as half of the Dynamic Band Duo Betsy and John Turner, and father of Chris Turner, another Band alumnus.

During his tenure at Maryland from 1970-1975, he played clarinet and tuba in Concert and Marching Band, and was ΚΚΨ President. He met his future wife in the band. "My first words ever to John was at the red/white game….I was playing drums and I turned around to him and said, 'Don’t tell the equipment staff, but I lost my plume!' I didn’t know it at the time, but he was the Head of the Equipment Staff. His comment back was, 'Your secret is safe with me.' Paul Deafenbaugh, whom I knew much better, was bent over laughing his head off, and I couldn’t understand why." The following year, one formation had John and his tuba hitting the same mark at the same time as Betsy and her flag. "I kept hitting him in the head about 3 steps out. John yelled a lot."

Betsy believes she and John were set up by a "committee" of flags, flutes, sorority sisters, band staff, and Dave Kuykendall, who drove them to their first date - a band party. They were married June 26, 1976, and have remained a dedicated band couple ever since. Both of their sons, Mike and Chris, were bandsmen, and Chris was a Terp Tuba.

John was a major participant in the Band Centennial. While Betsy worked on the History Book, John helped her with content and photos, and accompanied her on many trips to the University to meet with Anne Turkos at the Archives or Rich Sparks at CSPAC. He even donated his band uniform to the Archives. He marched at Homecoming, and played for both the Kaleidoscope and Pops concerts. At Homecoming 2009, the Turner boys played at Midnight Madness and trucked to the stadium side by side, with Betsy close by with the flags.

John may be gone, but his dedication to the University and the Band lives on. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following:

- University of Maryland Bands, Attn: Dr. Richmond Sparks, Clarice Smith Performance Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD 20742

- University of Maryland Archives, Attn: Anne Turkos, Hornbake Library, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

- Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 303 N. Main St., Bel Air, MD 21014.

Friends may call at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Bel Air, MD on Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. A memorial service will immediately follow at 12 noon, with Rev. Mark Gatza officiating.

Memory tributes may be sent to the family at

John - Keep on Truckin'
   From Your Maryland Band Friends and Family

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John was one of a kind. Gregarious almost to a fault, but a true and loyal friend. He left us too soon, but I guess the big marching band in the sky needed another tuba player. Rest in peace, friend.

John was a wonderful person who left us way too soon. Funny and gregarious but always loyal to his family and the UM marching band. God is anxious to have him as a tuba player! God bless his family.

John's friendship, wit and sense of humor were beyond compare. All of us who knew him were lucky to have done so. He will certainly live on in the hearts of his family and friends. We will miss him dearly.