Dorothy Turnbull Berk




February 22, 1925 in Chicago, Cook county. Illinois


March 9, 2001 in MT. Prospect, DuPage county. Illinois

Dorothy was the oldest of six children born to Robert William Turnbull of Scotland, and his Wife, Ellen Seeman, of North Ireland. Dorothy married William Berk in 1950, preceding her in death, in 1998. Dorothy used to tell everyone he was "the wind beneath my wings". A resident of Mt. Prospect, Illinois for more than 40 years,

Dorothy had a distinguished career. Working as Secretary for many years in Banks, Insurance companies, and Stock Brokerage houses. She was involved in helping the Marine Corps in the development of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

In 1977 Dorothy and husband William, took a trip to Scotland, that she said, "Changed the next 21 years of my life". Together they attended the St year of the," International Gathering of Clans". On this trip, they were put in touch with John Turnbull, from Hawick, the Founder of the Turnbull Clan of Scotland, and his wife Myra. Dorothy later found she had been appointed the Convener of the U.S.Turnbulls. It was looked upon as, "just doing Missionary work". Dorothy was a strong, but gentle, loving person, who loved working with the Clan members. Never so busy as to dismiss anyone, problems were never left unresolved. She even took on the U.S. Postal Service, when she was notified that a company was using the Turnbull coat of arms for another family name. Obtaining from the Post Master General, a "Cease and Desist" order to the involved company.

Dorothy will be greatly missed, by Clan Officers and members, her friends and family, and maybe if we are all lucky, we will feel her "wind beneath our wings.,,




By: John G. Turnbull, President TCNA

Dorothy Turnbull Berk passed away, mercifully in her sleep, on Mach 9, 2001, in her 76 Th year. She was born on George Washington's birthday in 1925, and I think it somewhat fitting that the founder of Turnbull Clan Association was born on the same day as the "Father of Our Country".

Some of the members that I had already contacted on my e-mail list replied that they felt a sense of loss of a true friend, even though they had never met Dorothy in person. One appreciated her encouragement in his individual efforts in starting his project connected to TCA. Another member always remembered the support he got in his efforts in various activities. I think that most of us, including myself, felt a loss of a true friend to the community of us, called The Turnbull Clan and that Dorothy would not be there to provided us with the help and encouragement that she provided over the years.

Dorothy would have celebrated her 50th Wedding anniversary with her husband, Bill this last February. Another member wrote me and said that in his many years in the ministry, he has often seen where the surviving spouse soon follows the deceased member, unable to go through life without the love and support of their life's partner. He felt that this was the case with Dorothy. Father Bill Turnbull, said a Mass for Dorothy the following Sunday.

I joined Turnbull Clan Association in July 7, 1977, soon after Dorothy formed it in the United States. I noticed her advertisement in the Highlander Magazine as Convener. However, I did not correspond with Dorothy until about 15 years ago, when my wife and I started maintaining the mailing lists for her, and even then I really did not get know her well.

However, what came through as an underlying message, never expressed from Dorothy in her correspondence and conversation, was Dorothy's total commitment. This total commitment was expressed in many different ways to Turnbull Clan Association, and the community of Turnbulls (other spellings of the name naturally are included here) and to the betterment of the TCA. And yes, it was expressed in her resistance to perceived threats to the well being of TCA.

Without Dorothy there would not have been a Turnbull Clan Association for the 22 years that she ran it, and when she disbanded the old Turnbull Clan in 1998, she was still there as a central focus for the formation of the new organization. Not only did she devote her own time, but also her own personal funds, for TCA, even when the parent organization in Scotland withered on the vine. She was the sole central support of TCA over the years and that support was vital to the continued existence of what TCA has now become.

We all owe Dorothy sincere thanks for all that she has done over the years. We also owe it to ourselves and to future Generations of the Turnbull Clan to continue the work that she started to build Turnbull Clan Association into a bigger and stronger organization. Part of that effort will be the establishment of the Dorothy Turnbull Berk Memorial Archives. Dorothy often said that her husband Bill was the wind beneath her wings. For many years, Dorothy was the wind beneath TCA's wings.

Dorothy, we will miss you very much.

I had worked with Dorothy over the last 20 years on Turnbull Clan matters,

And although I never met her personally, we always maintained a warm

Friendship and a good sense of humor, during good and bad times. Her

Commitment to the Turnbull Clan was total, and she nursed it from its

Beginning as a very small and new organization until 1999 when she decided

To retire from official duties. Because of her prior services to the Clan,

Dorothy was the only Honorary Life Member and therefore not required paying

any dues.

John G. Turnbull


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