Fish­er­man dies

Fam­ily says he was do­ing what he loved

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By DANDAN ZOU dzou@somd­

Fam­ily mem­bers of An­drew Mar­shall Turner de­scribed him as some­one who was ad­ven­tur­ous and de­voted to his fam­ily and work. The 34-year-old died last week in what ap­peared to be an ac­ci­dent at Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son Park and Mu­seum in St. Leonard.

Born and raised in Brandy­wine, Turner was a fish­er­man and marine sci­en­tist who worked as the fa­cil­i­ties man­ager at Mor­gan State Uni­ver­sity’s Patux­ent En­vi­ron­ment and Aquatic Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory. Turner’s fam­ily said

he was a water­man at heart, and he died do­ing what he loved.

On Oct. 31, Turner took a group of stu­dents out crab­bing, and he stayed be­hind to fin­ish up af­ter the stu­dents left, ac­cord­ing to Turner’s sis­ter Rita Vera.

Po­lice re­sponded to the park at 4:16 p.m. that day af­ter re­ceiv­ing a re­port of Turner miss­ing. Four hours later, he was found de­ceased in the water when divers did a grid search.

Vera said by phone Mon­day that her brother loved fish­ing, the water and his fam­ily.

“He al­ways told Mom and Dad he wanted to fish,” she said, not- ing her brother had grav­i­tated to­ward the water since he was lit­tle.

In a short au­to­bi­og­ra­phy posted on Mor­gan State Uni­ver­sity’s web­site, Turner said his fas­ci­na­tion with water be­gan when he was grow­ing up along the shores of the Patux­ent, just a few miles north of the re­search lab where he worked.

At a young age, he wrote that ex­pe­ri­ence “un­know­ingly cre­ated a wealth of eco­log­i­cal knowl­edge and helped me un­der­stand the crit­i­cal need for re­search, fos­ter­ing a grow­ing sci­en­tific un­der­stand­ing and most im­por­tantly stew­ard­ship.”

Turner’s on­line obit­u­ary started with a quote from Ernest Hem­ing­way’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” Turner’s fa­vorite book. The novel tells an epic bat­tle be­tween an old, ex­pe­ri­enced fish­er­man and his great­est catch: a large mar­lin.

“I think that book kind of cap­tured some of the rea­sons why he loved the water,” Vera said.

It wasn’t al­ways about the high speed or the thrill. Some­times it’s the lit­tle mo­ments of fish breach­ing at sun­set or sun­rise on the water that drew her brother.

Vera said Turner was the kind of per­son who could al­ways make things work and solve prob­lems. The last time she talked to him about a week be­fore he died, when he helped her solve a prob­lem. She told him she had trou­ble keep­ing the foxes away from her chick­ens. He told her to buy a bot­tle of coy­ote urine from a lo­cal farm sup­ply store and sprin­kle it around where her chick­ens were.

She fol­lowed his ad­vice but bought it on­line. And it worked, she said, be­cause coy­ote urine scares foxes away as they fear run­ning into their own preda­tor.

“He was a re­ally kind and gen­tle per­son,” Vera said. “He was en­thu­si­as­tic about ev­ery­thing he did, in­clud­ing lov­ing the peo­ple he loved.”

Mar­ried in 2014, Turner and his wife, Claire, have two young sons. The fam­ily has lived in North Beach for a cou­ple of years.

“His wife and two boys are the light of his life,” Vera said.

In the hours fol­low­ing last week’s in­ci­dent, Claire Turner made a pub­lic Face­book post say- ing “An­drew loves me and our boys so hard. He is an in­cred­i­ble fa­ther, pa­tient, kind and present. I am so in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for his love now more than ever.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from high school, Turner earned his bach­e­lor’s from St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land, where he also played rugby, ac­cord­ing to the fam­ily.

He earned his master’s in quan­ti­ta­tive fish­eries science in 2011 from the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land East­ern Shore and worked in the fish­eries and nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment, re­search and pol­icy are­nas for sev­eral years.

Other than fish­ing, Turner loved boat­ing, surf­ing, ski­ing, moun­tain bik­ing and other out­doors ac­tiv­i­ties.


An­drew Mar­shall Turner shows off a huge rock­fish he caught while fish­ing off a boat in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay in a fam­ily photo taken some­time in 2010. His fam­ily said the rock­fish weighed about 50 pounds.

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