Samuel G.H. Turner II
Nantucket, MA- Samuel Gilbert Hathaway Turner II passed away peacefully Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022 with his children beside him. He was 80.
Born in Elmira, N.Y. on Aug. 31, 1941, to Barbara Clute Turner and Hathaway Turner, he grew up on Seneca Lake with his beloved sister, Wendy Turner Maxwell.
He shared a love of cars, engines and machines with his father, and boating with his mother. He graduated from Choate and attended Union College, where he met Frances Hetherington Connor at a party. They married on July 13, 1963 and moved to Rochester, N.Y., where he was embraced as a son by Heather’s parents, Ruth Macomber Connor and Samuel Powers Connor Jr.
Sam drove school buses and was a volunteer firefighter while he finished his degree at the University of Rochester (1967), and Hether taught biology at Rush-Henrietta High School. He joined Sam Connor in the insurance business, becoming a partner at Amsden-Connor-Mitchell. Sam continued to enjoy his love of vintage cars and racing through involvement in the SCCA and Riter Restorations with his friend Barry Brown.
He volunteered his time with many nonprofit organizations, including Rochester’s PBS station Channel 21, Community Chest, United Way, Allendale Columbia School, and was a partner in many of Hether’s projects.
They were founding members of Christ Clarion Church (Pittsford, N.Y.), and active members at Third Presbyterian Church (Rochester, N.Y.), Siesta Key Chapel (FL), and First Congregational Church (Nantucket) where Sam loved giving tours of the tower overlooking the island. Our minister, Ruth Smalt, was miraculously on Island and visited Sam with song and prayer on his last day.
They raised three children in Rochester and Nantucket: Michele MacCaul Turner (Geoffrey Friedman) of Northampton, MA, Samuel Connor Turner (Anne Cassidy) of Sonoma, CA, and Robert DeWitt Turner (Megan Sweeny) of Nantucket, MA, along with 10 grandchildren: Grace, Jack, Alice, Lucy, Hazel, Sam, Mae, Alex, Jeremiah and Ellie, ranging in ages from 12-27.
Sam lived his life with kindness as his North Star. He was always present in his children’s lives. He was fun. He could fix anything, and always needed a “helper.” His children had lots of wheels and motors: bikes, go-karts, snowmobiles, boats and vintage cars. He helped with math homework, and with finding vans to take on cross-country adventures. He was a thoughtful listener and a great cheerleader, who acted as a father figure to many of his children’s cousins, friends and those in need.
His happy place, his natural habitat, was to be surrounded by family and friends, especially grandchildren.
His happy place, his natural habitat, was to be surrounded by family and friends, especially grandchildren. Seven days before his death, he was out to dinner with a table full of kids, telling stories and feeling ever grateful.
The family is thankful for the many people who looked after Sam with such loving care, and who became his community wherever he was: Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Palliative and Supportive Care of Nantucket (PASCON), Best of Care, the staff and residents of Sherburne Commons, Fusaro’s, Downyflake, and the Siesta Key Village Cafe.
The family plans a memorial service to celebrate his life next summer.