Dale Merlin Turner, known as Dal, died on Nov. 2 at his home in Palm Springs.
Turner was the son of the Rev. Dallas R. Turner, longtime pastor of then Community Presbyterian Church in Laguna Beach, and his wife, Virginia Howland Turner.
Born in Berkeley, Dal was the brother of three younger Turner sisters, Nancy Galloway Morse, Connie Brock, and Robin Allen. His lifetime partner, Frank Klier, died in 1993.
Turner played piano and organ effortlessly, with a vigor that was contagious. We loved to listen to him bang out commanding renditions of favorite hymns.
As a child he was intensely interested in telephones. His first job was in Laguna’s first telephone answering service. His first business was his own telephone answering service. He and Frank also had a lively real estate company, reveled in a star studded social whirl, and enjoyed the gay life when it had to be very secret. For many years he was the proud holder of Post Office Box One in Laguna Beach.
As a youth he traveled throughout Europe and North Africa, and sent extensive and charming travelogues home to his family.
Turner found joy and satisfaction in helping others. He counseled victims of AIDS, and taught classes in interpersonal communication — a theme throughout his life. He was a committed, proselytizing vegetarian before he was authorized to choose. (He used to slip his chicken drumstick under the table to a sister, who happily devoured it and handed him back the empty bone for his plate.)
He lived in Honolulu during the summer months and was always active in a spiritual group, most recently Unity Church, in Palm Springs. He contributed generously to both of his home communities. We miss him!