Geoffrey Turner Death | Central Illinois Shotokan Karate and Central States karate family has lost a dear friend and fellow karateka, Geoffrey Turner. His death was announced on July 26, 2020.
Central Illinois Shotokan Karate wrote a tribute to honor his passing;
Tribute to a warrior:
I must share with you all that our Central Illinois Shotokan Karate and Central States karate family has lost a dear friend and fellow karateka, Geoffrey Turner. He was taken this week by the corona virus.
Geoff passed away Tuesday night at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis after fighting the covid virus for several weeks. It is no exaggeration to say that he fought like a true karate warrior, because he always did, that is just the way he was. And as if his dear wife Courtney doesn’t have enough to handle, she is also recovering from the covid virus as she deals with her unimaginable loss.
To all of us who knew, trained with, and taught Geoff: he was a HERO!
We all have our own special stories and outstanding experiences. His dad, Gary Turner, was a Career and Tech Ed Adviser of mine at Pekin High.
He called me one day out of the blue and said his son wanted to take karate. Gary told me Geoff had had long term breathing issues, but that when he made his mind up about something he would not give up! So, he sent Geoff out to the high school to talk with me about karate. He told me that he used inhalers and oxygen periodically, but he wanted so very much to learn karate. His positive attitude blew me away!
I welcomed him to our dojo on the spot.
This is no exaggeration as you know. He literally would try anything asked of him with seemingly unlimited fighting spirit. He would accept his limitations as speed bumps. In classes at the Pekin YWCA, he would blast himself across the floor with technique, stop to inhale from his oxygen bottle, then hop into stance and repeat! Many of you felt his effective techniques in partner training.
But even most important to our karate-do is that he was the kindest, friendliest person you would want to meet. He was determined to live life to the fullest and be a karate man; and that he was. Geoff was a hero to me, and I told him so again, only a short time ago, when he first told me of his positive covid test.
Geoff took and fulfilled every test requirement for all ranks including brown belt. After portions of the any test, he would pause, use his oxygen, stand tall, and blast into the next series. One day he came to me and told me his name had finally come up for a double lung transplant, and he was going to do it! Once again, humility hit me as I realized his samurai spirit would face this new incomprehensible challenge. This was relatively new medical procedure and he was charging forward bravely.
But I KNOW that one powerful secret source of his confidence and his inspiration and bravery was the love of his life, Courtney. Our hearts, prayers, and thoughts are with her through her terrible loss. Geoff was our teammate and friend, and he could always light up the room. I really can’t remember conversations where Courtney didn’t come up! She was his soulmate, and he was the first to tell you.
Geoff and Courtney moved near Barnes to be closer to his medical teams. Every time we all went to our Sensei Hassell’s ASKA Dan tests and Black Belt Clinics, Geoff would usually be there with his beaming smile, supporting his karate dojo mates and karate friends.
When he told me about his positive test, I told him he was a samurai at heart and over the years he was one of my foremost heroes and why. He thanked me, said he need to hear that, and that it really made his day. He was clearly concern about this beast he would be facing, but you knew he would never give up this battle.
For the record, Geoff told me he wore a mask early on when this pandemic started. He said people would tease him or give him a hard time, but in his own way, he put them in their place! In karate, we try to see things as they are, use Zanshin, and apply karate in our daily life. We must try to stay focused for the safety of all and fight this beast together. We can control only what we can control. But we can do our best.
Please feel free to add your feelings, photos, memories, and continue to give Courtney the support that has been flowing in.
Stay safe and count your blessings.
Sensei Rick L Brewer