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OBITUARY ~ MILES WATSON TURNBULL

LEAVENWORTH WA - Miles Watson TURNBULL, 64, an 18-year resident of Leavenworth and former publisher of the Leavenworth Echo, died Saturday, June 11, 1994, in Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee [WA]. He was born Oct. 15, 1929, in Diagonal, Iowa, the son of Harold Watson and Mildred (WILEY) TURNBULL. He graduated from Diagonal High School in 1947 and earned his bachelor's degree in English from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1955. That fall, he entered the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he completed his master's degree in journalism in 1957. He later was a community newspaper publisher for many years and taught journalism at several Washington state universities.

He married Jane Eloise HOWARD on June 19, 1960, in Columbia, Mo. He was employed by Meredith Corp., a national magazine publishing company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1957 until 1971, except for two years when he was assistant director of development for Drake University in Des Moines.

The TURNBULLS entered the community newspaper business in 1971, when they became owners and publishers of the San Juan Record in Monticello, Utah. They purchased the Dove Creek Press in Dove Creek, Colo., two years later. They sold both newspapers in 1976 and moved to Leavenworth, where they purchased the Leavenworth Echo. They continued to publish the Echo until 1988. They also owned the Cashmere Valley Record for a short time.

Mr. TURNBULL was an assistant professor from 1984 until 1987 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, teaching journalism and public relations. He became executive director of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in 1988, the state organization of community newspaper publishers, headquartered in Seattle. Following his retirement from the association in 1992, he taught journalism courses at Western Washington University, the University of Washington and again at Central Washington University.

He was elected president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in 1982 and was a recipient of the Simpson College Alumni Service Award in 1984. He was a member of the Leavenworth Community United Methodist Church and a longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous, of which he devoted much of his efforts assisting others.

Survivors include his wife, at the home; one son, Matthew TURNBULL, Pullman; his daughter, Jennifer McDONALD, Flagstaff, Ariz.; his mother, Mildred TURNBULL, Leavenworth; and one granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his father in 1990 and one grandson in 1993.

Arrangements are by Ward's Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth. Interment was made at Mountain View Cemetery, Leavenworth, Washington.

Seattle Times
Seattle, Washington
Tuesday, June 14, 1994

Miles Turnbull Put Faith In People

by Helen E. Jung

Through the pages of his weekly newspapers, his legendary sense of humor and his heartfelt desire to connect with people face-to-face, Miles TURNBULL wove communities together.

"He was the kind of person that could touch other people's lives," said his wife, Jane TURNBULL.

Mr. TURNBULL, a longtime community newspaper publisher, died Saturday at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee at age 64.

Born in Iowa, Mr. TURNBULL earned a bachelor's degree in English from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 1951. After serving in the Air Force, he earned a master's degree in journalism in 1957 from Iowa University.

He then joined the Meredith Corp., a national magazine publisher. While working in the company's Seattle office, he saw a picture of Jane HOWARD, an employee at an Iowa branch, in a company newsletter.

When he was transferred to the main office six months later, he called her up. They married in 1960.

"He liked to say he picked me out of a catalog," Jane TURNBULL said.

In 1971, the two decided they wanted out of the corporate world and wanted to work together. They bought the San Juan Record, a weekly in Monticello, Utah, and proceeded to report, photograph, paste up and deliver the paper.

There, he met longtime friend and fellow newspaper publisher Larry DUTHIE, now vice president of Whidbey Press Inc., a local community-newspaper chain.

"Miles said you could really do something good and see results on a community grass-roots level," said DUTHIE. "He really did make a positive difference."

The TURNBULLS later took over another paper, the Dove Creek Press in Dove Creek, Colo.

In 1976, Mr. TURNBULL and his wife decided to settle in Leavenworth and bought The Leavenworth Echo

Throughout his career, Mr. TURNBULL gained recognition for his advocacy of community journalism.

"There isn't anyone who was a more passionate and a better spokesman for community journalism than Miles TURNBULL," said Diana KRAMER, executive director of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, a group of non-daily community newspapers.

In a presentation in 1989, he told a group of advertisers, "I believe the power of the direct connection offered by community news comes from the universal human need to be accepted and to be needed. All of us want a sense of worth and most of us need some evidence to help us believe we have it."

Mr. TURNBULL pursued another career interest - teaching. From 1984 to 1987, he taught journalism and public relations at Central Washington University. In recent years he taught at Western Washington University and the UW.

The couple published the Leavenworth paper until 1988, when Mr. TURNBULL accepted the post of executive director of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in Seattle. They spent the next five years in the area, although they maintained their Leavenworth home.

His self-deprecating humor, whether he would tell stories or act out routines, made him a hit with anyone he met, friends said.

"When he was hot and cooking, there was not a stand-up comedian anyplace who could hold a candle to him," said DUTHIE. "It makes me laugh a little to just think about him."

Mr. TURNBULL'S desire to help community members extended outside his professional career. A longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he stayed sober for 32 years, and often helped others by offering an empathetic ear, said his wife.

He recognized that "you can't do it for somebody else, but you can be there to help, to reach out."

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law Matthew and Christie TURNBULL of Pullman; his daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Buddy McDONALD of Flagstaff, Ariz.; a granddaughter, Margaret Jane Turnbull of Pullman, and his mother, Mildred TURNBULL of Leavenworth. He was preceded in death by his father, Harold, and his grandson, Miles Montgomery TURNBULL.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Leavenworth's Church of the Nazarene. Burial will follow.

Memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Spokane or to any other charity.

NOTE: The Miles TURNBULL Master Editor/Publisher Award was established in honor of Miles and is awarded by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association [WNPA] to honor an active editor or publisher who has worked hard and unselfishly, making a significant contribution to his/her newspaper, community, state and the WNPA.

Transcriptions and note by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2011

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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