Dale Emerson Turner

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Dale Turner
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Born(1917-11-22)November 22, 1917
Glen Dale, West Virginia, U.S.
DiedJune 5, 2006(2006-06-05) (aged 88)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Pastor
  • Columnist
Spouse(s)Leone Turner

Dr. Dale Emerson Turner (November 22, 1917 - June 5, 2006) was a pastor based in Seattle, Washington. He was known for his contributions at Seattle's University Congregational United Church of Christ, and his columns in the Seattle Times.[1]

In his memory, in 2008, the YMCA board commemorated Turner's service to the community by naming the Greater Seattle - Shoreline YMCA, which serves Shoreline and South Snohomish, after Turner.[2][3]

Early Life and Education

Born in 1917, in West Virginia, Turner was raised in Akron, Ohio. After graduating from high school in Akron, Turner received a scholarship to attend West Virginia Wesleyan. He wrestled in high school and made all-city honors in football. After graduating from Wesleyan, he had 2 scholarship offers to attend Columbia or Yale Divinity School. He chose Yale Divinity School.[1]


Turner's first calling was to a church in Michigan, where he served as Youth Pastor for 5 years. In 1948, he and his family moved to Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to his pastoral duties, he served as a professor of religion at Kansas University and as chaplain of the Kansas University football team.[1]

In Seattle, Washington, Turner served on the board of the Metropolitan YMCA, Goodwill Industries, Neighborhood House, and other organizations.[1] In 2008, the Board of Metropolitan YMCA voted to name the new YMCA of Shoreline, Washington after Turner.[2][3]

Seattle's University Congregational Church

In 1958, his family moved to Seattle to accept the position of Senior Minister at the University Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC), where he served for 24 years. Turner also worked for many social change groups in Seattle, next to the leaders of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant church leaders at the time.[1]


After retiring from the UCC in 1982, he briefly served as interim pastor in churches in Hawaii and Washington.

The Seattle Times

In 1983, he was asked to write weekly columns for the religion page for The Seattle Times, which he continued for 22 years, writing more than 800 columns.[1]

Personal Life

Turner was married to his wife, Leone Turner, for 58 years. The two raised 4 children together.[1]

Published Works


  • Different Seasons (1997)
  • Grateful Living (1998)
  • Another Way: Open-Minded Faithfulness (2000)
  • Free to Be (2003)
  • Imperfect Alternatives (2005)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Turner, the Rev. Dr. Dale (1917-2006) - HistoryLink.org". www.historylink.org. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About Dale Turner Family YMCA". www.seattleymca.org. Retrieved 2021-02-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ramirez, Marc (2008-10-05). "Community turns out for Dale Turner YMCA grand opening". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2021-02-20.

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