In Memoriam: Marguerite Turnbull, 1918-2010
Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus mourns the loss of Marge Turnbull, who died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday; she was 92 years old.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church.
Marge retired as director of the Job Training Program for the State of Ohio, where she worked for more than 15 years. She also worked for the Columbus Metropolitan Area Community Action Agency and for the Pillsbury Settlement House (Minneapolis, MN).
A pioneer for women’s rights in her professional and community activities, Marge was a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, serving as president of the Iowa City chapter in 1963-1964 and, for more than 20 years in retirement, as volunteer lobbyist and analyst for the League of Women Voters of Ohio. As a leader on health and human service issues, and on workforce development in particular, she was a tireless and authoritative voice for the League at the Ohio Statehouse.
Marge was an Honorary Member of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council (AFL-CIO). She was also an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus for over 45 years, including service on the church’s board and many committees. She served on numerous other civic and community service boards and committees, including the Worthington Human Relations Commission, the Ohio Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, the Open Shelter Board, Call Voluntary Action Center (including as president), and the Ohio State Legislative Committee on Lead Abatement.
She attended Hamline University and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A., 1946) and the Ohio State University (M.S.W., 1968). She was the recipient of many professional and community service honors and awards, including:
- League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus Democracy In Action Award;
- Columbus YWCA Woman of Achievement Award;
- Ohio Governor’s Award for Community Action;
- Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame;
- Brotherhood Award of the Worthington St. John’s AME Church;
- Women’s Equality Day Award from Ohio Women, Inc.;
- Hamline University’s 150 Lives That Make a Difference; and
- OSU School of Social Work’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her honor may be made to the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus Educational Fund, to the advocacy efforts of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, to the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbus, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
Marge was preceded in death by her husband, fellow Metro Columbus League member Robert G. Turnbull, and is survived by her son and his family.