Obituary of David Russell Turner
David Russell Turner
May 14, 1968 – January 6, 2021
After a life well lived, but far too short, David passed away at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto on January 6, 2021, at the age of 52. He will be greatly missed by his mother, Geills McCrae Turner (née Kilgour), his brothers Michael and Andrew (Leslie), his sister Elizabeth, his children Dylan and Olivia, his nieces, nephews, cousins and legions of friends. He was predeceased by his father, John Napier Turner.
Born in Montreal, a tow-haired David spent his early years in Ottawa, skating on the canal and skiing on the hills of Camp Fortune. After moving to Toronto, David attended Upper Canada College from start to finish before moving on to the University of Western Ontario. After graduation, he began a successful work life in the insurance business, first at Marsh Canada, then at Integro, and finally settling in as a VP at Hub International for the remainder of his career.
In his youth, David loved skiing, soccer and tennis, but he discovered a passion and a physical outlet later in life when he started playing squash. With squash, he found the perfect way to get a bit of exercise while spending time with his friends. As a long-time member of the Badminton & Racquet Club, David reveled in the camaraderie and competitiveness of the doubles squash crowd. He had a particular soft spot for his regular Friday 4:30 match.
David developed a true knack for deep-rooted friendship and unwavering loyalty very early on. Most of his many friends from his school and university days, including his UCC “buds” and his brothers at Sigma Chi, remained steadfast presences throughout the remainder of his life. David made sure that no friend’s birthday passed without a cheery early morning phone call to honour the occasion, a trait perhaps inherited from his father.
With a keen mind and a sharp wit, David always enjoyed engaging his friends in passionate conversation about life, family, politics and sports (especially the Pittsburgh Steelers!), or simply sharing a few laughs over a beer. One could question whether his love of such conversation was really just a platform from which to exercise his uncanny ability to deliver well-timed one-liners that would bring down the house. David was a connector of people, a gatherer of friends, and an organizer of events that allowed his friends – old, new or to be determined – to meet up and reconnect. He was “famous” for his drop-in Christmas party, an annual event that celebrated its 25th anniversary last year and which so many people from Toronto or returning to the city for the holiday have come to count on to reconnect with friends. David would always get a twinkle in his eye when that time of year rolled around.
The two most important things in his life were his wonderful children, Dylan and Olivia. David and Dylan were like two peas in a pod, while Olivia was the apple of David’s eye. David slipped into his final sleep with a picture of each of them tucked against his chest.
David’s family wishes to thank the kind doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook, particularly Dr. Rachel Wortzman and her amazing colleagues in the palliative care unit, for their around the clock care during David’s final weeks. We would also like to thank Amy Moore and the merry cast of friends who provided David with company, cheer and basic necessities on a daily basis during the months leading up to his hospitalization; David loved you all dearly.
There will be a private ceremony for immediate family. David requested that a rowdy gathering be held to celebrate his life once the Covid restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in David’s name to the Canadian Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (CNETS.ca).
Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.