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Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home
171 Elm Street
| Cobleskill, NY 12043
Tel: 1-518-234-3549
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Thelma (Pangburn) Turner

October 13, 1927 ~ March 1, 2018 (age 90)
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Ithaca, NY – Thelma P. Turner, 90, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2018 at the Robinson Terrace Senior Living Center in Stamford, NY. Previously Dr. Turner lived in Eastham and Harwich Port, MA, Cobleskill, NY, and Guilderland, NY.

Born on October 13, 1927 to Clyde and Lydia (Crounse) Pangburn of Guilderland, NY, Thelma was a graduate of SUNY Albany, earning her Doctorate of the Arts in Writing in 1994, a Master of Arts in Writing in 1981, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Social Studies  - Cum Laude in 1949, where she was a member of the National Social Science Honor Society Pi Gamma Mu. Thelma graduated from Draper High School in 1945.

Thelma greatly enjoyed teaching and writing, serving as an Associate Professor at SUNY Cobleskill teaching College Composition and American Literature. She also tutored Empire State College students in Technical Communication and Composition. Previous to this, Thelma was an Adjunct Professor for SUNY Albany and Russell Sage College freshman students in the areas of Composition and Communications.

Before teaching at the college level, Thelma taught 8th grade English and Social Studies for Cobleskill Central School and prior to that at Sharon Springs Central School.

Throughout her life, Thelma was happiest when spending time with her four children and seven grandchildren, teaching other people’s children, and writing poems and short stories. Dr. Turner authored a biography of Raul Wallenberg, Story House, Corp., wrote feature articles for The Cape Coder, published poems in The Aurorean, and placed among the top ten in the 1997 Writer’s Digest Poetry Contest in the Non-Rhyming Category. She read her authored poems and short stories for Cape Cod’s Women Creating programs through Barnes and Noble and at the Buffalo Book Store in Buffalo, NY, some being broadcast over WOMR. She served as a SUNY Albany Capital Region Writing Project Presenter and participated in poetry and fiction workshops including First Night Celebrations on Cape Cod and Poetry Slams in Boston, MA.

Always learning, Dr. Turner was a member of the Poetry Workshops and Theater Groups at the Lifelong Learning Center in Ithaca NY. She attended Elder Hostel Programs in writing at the College of Santa Fe and Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico and in her 80’s completed additional writing courses at the Finger Lakes Independence Center, Ithaca, NY. 

Thelma’s husband Egbert Turner predeceased her. She is survived by her four children: Clyde (Hillary) Ward, Tazewell, TN; Bonnie (John) Tryon, Cobleskill, NY; Tina Ward, Cobleskill, NY; Lewie (Laurie) Ward, Smithville Flats, NY and their father, Lewis Ward, Cobleskill, NY, seven grandchildren: Grace Tibbetts, Lincoln, ME, Roberta Buckley, Biloxi, M, Matthew (Jennifer) Tryon, Holland Patent, NY, Andrew Tryon, Boston, MA, Nathaniel Shuart, Cobleskill, NY, Jennifer Ward, Frankfort, NY, Susan Ward, Smithville Flats, NY, and one great-granddaughter: Luna Nova Jones, Smithville Flats, NY.

A private viewing is being held at Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home, Elm Street, Cobleskill, NY.

Relatives and friends are invited to Thelma’s Celebration of Life that will be held on Saturday, March 17 at 10:00am at the Lawyersville Reformed Church with a luncheon to follow. Weather permitting, interment will take place at 2:30pm in the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Rte. 20, Guilderland, NY.

In lieu of flowers, Thelma and her family request that donations be made to a charity of your choice.







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