Rev. I Doyle Turner


October 4, 2021

Rev. I Doyle Turner

October 20, 1943 - September 14, 2021

The Reverend Irvin Doyle Turner, "Netaamishkaang," The One Who Goes Before His People, was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, treasured friend, and Episcopal priest. He died at his home suddenly on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, due to complications of Covid-19 at the age of 77.

Doyle was born to Robert Irvin "Tony" Turner and Blanche (Antell) Turner at the White Earth Hospital in White Earth, MN, on October 20, 1943. Doyle grew up in Naytahwaush, MN, graduating from Mahnomen High School in 1961. He worked as a heavy equipment operator paving roads until 1975, at which point he studied Biology at Bemidji State University. Doyle served the White Earth Reservation as a tribal judge from 1978 - 1981. He graduated from Moorhead State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Personnel Psychology in 1982.

Father Doyle was called to the Episcopal priesthood and attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary from 1982 - 1985, earning a Master of Divinity degree. He went on to serve the Episcopal churches on the White Earth Reservation formally from 1985 - 1994 but ministered to all who needed him up until his death, performing countless baptisms, marriage ceremonies, and funerals. Father Doyle always sought out those who grieved, required solace, needed friendship, or desired to learn more about the Ojibwe culture. He served the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota as a Canon Missioner for Indian work, was a "Founding Father" and Co-Chair of the Minnesota Committee on Indian Work, and served as Executive Director of the Indigenous Theological Training Institute from 1997 - 2000.

In 2000, Doyle was elected Chairman of the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council. He served until 2004 focusing his efforts on improving life for tribal members through improved housing, job creation, and bringing peace during a tumultuous time. During his tenure as Tribal Chair, Doyle also served as Secretary for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Among his many accomplishments, he was particularly excited to have co-created the "Healing of the Nations" events which celebrated sobriety and encouraged a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. In 2004, he and his wife, Mary, founded and operated "Peaceful Bay Enterprises," a training and consulting business focused on strategic planning and training using values and vision to guide businesses and churches. Throughout his priesthood, Father Doyle served on many boards of directors, advisory boards, and boards of trustees throughout the country. He taught anyone who asked, whether it was on an individual basis, in a school classroom, in a gymnasium, or at a national gathering.

Father Doyle continued to serve Trinity Church in Park Rapids and Lake Grove Lutheran Church in rural Waubun in both formal and supply-priest capacities until 2019. The joy he took from sharing himself and the love of God with the people in these two congregations is immeasurable.

Doyle was a master woodsman and fisherman. He felt a connection to the water and woods of the White Earth Reservation. He loved to hunt deer and could guide you through each and every deer drive from landmark to landmark from memory. Doyle was a storyteller, taking with him some of the finest and funniest stories ever remembered from all of his relatives and friends. His storytelling talents made his sermons memorable, poignant, and left you forever changed.

Father Doyle saw himself as a person of vision, a problem solver, and a bridge builder. He sought to build bridges between people. Father Doyle also a loved people and built a network of individuals who considered him family. He was a surrogate dad, uncle, grandfather, and brother to countless people. Father Doyle was a musician and songwriter, who with his wife, Mary, co-created "Turnerfest," a yearly gathering celebrating music, musicians, family, and time together with people. He relished singing, playing, laughing, and telling stories until the sun came up.

Doyle is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary (Olsen) Turner; daughter, Mandy (Bill) Kaegy; sons, Doyle (Molly) Turner, and Stephen Turner; four grandchildren: Katie (Matthew) Johnson, Leah Kaegy (Kenzie Giese), Robert Anthony "Tony" Turner (Lyra Wanzer), and Sophia Turner; one great-grandchild, Ivan Johnson; brother, Orville (Doreen) Turner; sister, Colleen (Dwight) Johnson; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Irvin "Tony" Turner; mother, Blanche (Antell) Turner; brothers, Robert "Bob" (Sharon) Turner, and William "Billy" Turner; and sister, Shelly Turner.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. in the Waubun City Park in Waubun, MN. Visitation will be held 2 hours prior to the service at the park. Masks are required. The greatest memorial to Father Doyle is to love one another, get vaccinated, and keep one another safe from the further transmission of the Covid-19 virus. We ask that you honor him by going out into the world to spread his message of love and working to better understand one another.

Following all Covid-19 safety protocols, and CDC guidelines, social distancing will be practiced. Masks are required. All are welcome to attend and encouraged to bring a chair. Services will be recorded and available for viewing on our website. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be given and will be distributed to charities close to Doyle's heart. Please feel free to sign the guestbook, send condolences and view other opportunities which may be available to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Funeral Service

Waubn City Park

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

1:00 PM

1300-1398 2nd St

Waubun, MN 56589


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