Dr. Calvin Coolidge Turpin, loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on March 29, 2016 at the age of 91, He was born on November 8, 1924, to Golden and Gertrude West Turpin at Granite City, Illinois. In 1944 he married Eudell Coody, his childhood sweetheart. In 2006 they celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. After graduating from Floyd High School, White County, Arkansas, he enlisted in the United States Army serving in the Coast Artillery and Field Artillery before becoming a Prisoner of War (German) Administrator. Following World War II, he studied law at the University of Arkansas before receiving B.A. and M.A. degrees at Baylor University; B.D., M.R.E., and M. Div. degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.A. (Information Science) degree from Vanderbilt University; and the Doctor of Science in Theology from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, he studied at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Texas Tech University, Judson College, and San Bernardo State University.
Turpin, a Southern Baptist minister, served as pastor of churches in California, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In addition, he was a professor of religion and administrator at Jacksonville College (TX), Belmont University (Nashville, TN), Austin-Paey State University (Clarksville, TN), Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (Mill Valley, CA), Judson College (Marion, AL), and Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX) before taking early retirement due to military disabilities. He also served as Library Consultant and Library Science Professor at the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA), Minot State University (Minot, ND) and North Texas State University (Denton, TX).
His work was recognized by his inclusion in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Education, Directory of American Scholars, and more than a dozen other Who’s Who. He was a Congressional Senior Citizens Intern (Washington, D.C.), Veterans Memorial Park Commissioner (San Benito County, CA), and a Rent Control Commissioner (Hollister, CA). Turpin was the author of eight books and more than 100 published articles. He was a Lilly Endowment Scholar and a member of the First Baptist Church, Edmond, Oklahoma.
Dr. Turpin attended the first Boys State held in Arkansas (1940). In 2002 he was inducted into the Arkansas Boys State Hall of Fame. Following retirement, he became a volunteer chaplain for the United States Air Force Auxiliary – Civil Air Patrol. For more than 20 years he served as a chaplain for the Texas Wing, California Wing, Pacific Region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) before retiring as the National Deputy Chief of Chaplains. Turpin was the founder and director of the Pacific Region Chaplains’ Staff College. For many years he was a member of The American Legion serving as a chaplain at all levels from local post to national staff. He served three terms as the California Department Chaplain before being named the National Commander, the three million members, and their families. As National Chaplain he visited the President in the White House, gave an opening prayer for Congress, participated in the groundbreaking for the World War II Memorial (Washington D.C.), placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition, he gave memorial and patriotic addresses all across America.
He was predeceased by his wife, Eudell Coody Turpin. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Turpin Jones and husband, Dennis, of Carmel Valley, California, and son, John T. Turpin and wife, Tandy, of Edmond, Oklahoma. Also, he is survived by his grandchildren: Dr. Dennise Jones Stewart, Kelly Jones Barrett, Ethan Turpin, and Colin Turpin and foster brother-in-law Walt Dill. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers: Nathan Turpin and Ulysses Turpin and foster sister Ellen Yeargain Dill.
Memorial services are pending to be followed by Inurnment at the Romance, Arkansas Cemetery.
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