Harold Keith Turpin, 83, formerly of North Mankato, died Aug. 27, 2017, at Sunset Hospice Cottage, Worthington, Minn., from complications of congestive heart failure. He was born July 18, 1934, in Rochester, Ind., to the Rev. Harold W. Turpin and Louella Empey Turpin. He lived in Indianapolis, Columbus and Hammond, Ind., where his father served Presbyterian pastorates. Keith graduated from Hammond High School and earned a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music degree from the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, Ill. While serving two years in the U.S. Army and working at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, he also was a bass soloist with a German-American choir at the Plattenstrasse Chapel.
He married Barbara Lane Cowan on Dec. 27, 1957, in Hammond, Ind. Two summers were spent working towards the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at University of Colorado, Boulder. For three months in 1961, he toured with eight concert singers from the Chicago Lyric Opera, traveling 47,000 miles across the U.S. and parts of Canada presenting community concerts.
In 1965, a highlight of his musical career was singing bass solos in Handel's Messiah in Milledgeville, Ga., accompanied by a portion of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, while representing Mercer University. In 1970, Keith was elected to membership in the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Health problems halted his career as a professional musician, and thereafter he worked hard at various jobs as he helped raise his family. He used his musical talents as an avocation in churches on a regular basis for over 50 years.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara, Worthington, Minn.; three children: Philip Keith (Sandy) of Kempner, Texas; Jane Leslie (Gordon) Moore of Worthington; Peter John (Jennifer) of Moorhead, Minn.; and a sister, Margaret Helen Botlo of Colorado Springs, Colo. Wisconsin grandchildren are Benjamin Lloyd Turpin and Holly (Turpin) Semrow; Worthington grandchildren are Gordon Harrison Moore, Meredith Dunlap Moore and Davis Henry Moore; and Moorhead grandchildren are Joshua Nathan Turpin, Josiah Daniel Turpin and Lydia Grace Turpin. He leaves two great-grandchildren (Daisy and Henry Semrow) and 10 nieces and nephews. His parents and a brother, Thomas Embury Turpin, preceded him in death.
Keith chose to donate his body to help others through medical science at the University of Minnesota. A private memorial service will be held at a later date at Rankin Presbyterian Church in his father's hometown of Brush, Colo. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to WAMBO (Worthington Area Music Boosters Organization), Friends of the Nobles County Library or a church of your choice.
Published on August 29, 2017