Town Mourns Passing of Marie Turner

Friday, July 27, 2012
By Cary Shuman

Marie Turner Former Town Clerk and Selectwoman

Attorney Robert E. Noonan said that of all of the public officials that he served with, “Marie Turner was the most dedicated to the town of Winthrop that we will ever have now or in the future.”

Noonan served on the Board of Selectmen when Turner was Executive Secretary and later when she was elected Selectwoman. He was also town counsel and served on the Planning Board with Turner.

“I’ve known her for 32 years in town government and I valued her as a friend,” Noonan said, his voice marked by the sadness of losing a great colleague and associate.

Noonan was one of several town leaders who paid tribute to Turner, who died Wednesday.

Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo also praised Turner.

“Marie Turner was a special person who gave as much to the Town of Winthrop as anyone I have ever known,” said DeLeo. As a Selectman, I found her to be an invaluable source of knowledge on many matters – some of which are relevant to town politics even today. I believe my long conversations with her on local matters helped prepare me for the role in government I have today. She was a mentor, a friend, a colleague, and I will miss her greatly.”

Nancy Williams, executive director of the Winthrop Council on Aging and the Winthrop Senior Center, said it was Turner who inspired her to consider the position of leadership at the center.

“We were campaigning one day and Marie mentioned the Council on Aging and I said, ‘What’s the Council on Aging?’ “and she looked back at me and said, ‘You’d be good for that,’ “and here I am 27 years later.”

“Marie was a wonderful friend and marvelous asset to this community,” said Williams. “She loved Winthrop and we’re all going to miss her greatly.”

Fire Chief Paul Flanagan said Turner was a strong advocate for Winthrop in her position on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority board.

“In so many things that I’ve requested from the MWRA, I always led with a call to Marie and she was very instrumental in helping me achieve some of the goals I’ve wanted to achieve for the Winthrop Fire Department,” said Flanagan.

“Taking over the ambulance contract from the MWRA which freed up $250,000 – as much as I got a lot of the legwork done, ultimately I needed Marie Turner to push it over the goal line. We’ve had great success together and she will truly be missed.”

Police Chief Terence Delehanty said his family was very close to Marie Turner.

“It’s sad to see that she has passed,” said Delehanty. “Marie Turner was a great servant to the town and the townspeople. She served this town well as town clerk, selectwoman, and on the MWRA board of directors. She was an advocate for this town and did an outstanding job for our community and the Winthrop Police Department. Replacing Marie Turner is going to very, very difficult, if at all possible.”

Town Manager James McKenna worked with Turner in town government for the past three years.

“Marie Turner was one of our kind and I’m deeply saddened for the loss for her family and for the town,” said McKenna. “She was a real champion of Winthrop. She was a firebrand who believed deeply in this community. She made it clear to me that Winthrop ran in her veins. When I needed things to get done, Marie was the go-to girl to get things done and she really got things done. I’m very sad. My prayers and condolences to her family.”

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