FRYEBURG – Daniel Turner, a dedicated teacher and former longtime football coach at Fryeburg Academy, died on Nov. 20, four days shy of his 70th birthday.
Mr. Turner was a popular physics and math teacher at Fryeburg Academy for the past 43 years. He worked part-time for the past couple of years and was currently teaching one physics class. He also worked in the fitness center every morning.
Mr. Turner was remembered by faculty and former students Monday as a dedicated teacher who used humor to connect with students.
“His subject area was not a popular one with students,” said his son David Turner, who is also dean of residential students at Fryeburg. “He tried to teach with a sense of humor and be available for students.”
For most of his career, Mr. Turner lived on campus with his wife, Geraldine, and their four children. He coached basketball, baseball, and was head football coach for 27 seasons. He also served as athletic director, class adviser, student council adviser and a tutor.
“He was an absolute rock in the foundation of this school,” said Rachel Andrews Damon, a 1976 graduate and director of public relations and annual giving at Fryeburg.
Principal David Sturdevant said Mr. Turner was an important part of the school community.
“It’s a huge loss for our academy family,” Sturdevant said. “He always had a pleasant greeting for everyone. He always had something nice to say. He was a great guy. He is really going to be missed.”
Mr. Turner impacted thousands of students over the years. Last week, many turned to the academy Facebook page to share memories of him.
One former student recalled how Mr. Turner helped her with algebra after class. Another wrote about his physics lesson using homemade measuring tools on the rides at the Fryeburg Fair. Several said he inspired them to become teachers.
Mr. Turner and his wife were married for 47 years. The couple built a life together based on mutual love for family and a strong devotion to Fryeburg Academy, where his wife also works as an administrative assistant to the headmaster.
She said they enjoyed trips to Southwest Harbor and seeing plays at the Brunswick Music Theater. He also enjoyed outdoor activities with his daughter and playing with his four granddaughters.
His wife emphasized their active support for the academy’s football program.
“It was a great life. It really was,” she said. “I really, really enjoyed going to the games. All my boys played on the football team. They loved playing and they loved playing for him.”
Brian Turner, the youngest of his children, said he was a great father and coach, who inspired his players to succeed.
“My junior and senior year… we didn’t win a game, but he was always encouraging us to work hard and strive to get better,” his son said. “For him, it wasn’t about the record, it was about getting all these young men to play as a team. A lot of the lessons he gave us in football helped us later in life.”
Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: