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home : obituaries : obituaries
June 6, 2020


3/11/2020 1:19:00 PM
Barbara Lane (Cowan) Turpin

Barbara Lane (Cowan) Turpin, 83, died Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at Sunset Hospice Cottage, Worthington.
She was born in the midst of blizzard conditions on March 4, 1936, to W. Howard Cowan and C. Lillian (Moon) Cowan at Windom. She was baptized at First Presbyterian Church, Windom, and lived on "the River Road" there until her family moved to North Mankato in October 1942.
Important in her youth were music activities (including piano, French horn, cello and choral singing), Camp Fire Girls and involvement at First Presbyterian Church, Mankato.
A 1954 alumna of Mankato High School, Barbara graduated March 6, 1957, from Mankato State with a B.S. in elementary education (and earned a master's degree at Mankato State in 1972).She began teaching in Hammond, Ind., the following week.
On Dec. 27, 1957, she married H. Keith Turpin. In June 1958, she joined Keith at Frankfurt, Germany, where he was stationed with the U.S. Army. She taught two years at American schools in Germany and continued her lengthy teaching career thereafter, most notably from 1968-2000 in ISD 77 elementary schools.
In August 2000, Barbara and Keith moved to Worthington. She frequently subbed as a piano accompanist for Sunday services in area churches, and she worked often as a substitute teacher through Sept. 17, 2019, when health issues prevented it.
Barbara was a lifelong learner who loved nature, history, the performing arts, genealogy, her family and all the students she encountered in 62 years as an educator.
Her survivors include her three children: Philip (Sandy) of Kempner, Texas; Jane (Gordon L. Moore) of Worthington; and Peter of Moorhead; plus eight grandchildren: Benjamin Turpin and Holly Turpin Semrow; Gordon H., Meredith and Davis Moore; and Joshua, Josiah and Lydia Turpin; three great-grandchildren: Daisy, Henry and Carson Semrow; and one brother, Philip (Carol) Cowan of Billings, Mont.
She was preceded in death by her parents; spouse and brother, Ward Cowan; as well as her second cousin, Dr. C.O. Castledine (with whom she proudly shared another second cousin, Vice President Walter F. Mondale).
Barbara bequeathed her body to the University of Minnesota for medical research.
A memorial service will take place at First United Methodist Church, 408 11th St., Worthington, on Saturday, March 21 (11 a.m. service, visitation from 10 to 11 a.m.). The service may be viewed via livestream at www.firstumcworthington.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Worthington Area Music Boosters Organization, Worthington Dollars for Scholars, Friends of the Nobles County Library or the church of your choice.








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