Philip Layton Turner Jr., therapist

PhilipL. Turner Jr.
PhilipL. Turner Jr.
Posted: October 01, 2010

Philip Layton Turner Jr., 87, formerly of West Mount Airy, a psychotherapist and social worker, died of complications from surgery Monday, Aug. 30, at Albany Medical Center in New York.

Until moving to Burlington, Vt., last year to be close to family, Mr. Turner maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Philadelphia and co-led a men's support group. He was affiliated with the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis.

In addition to his private practice, in the 1970s and '80s, Mr. Turner was clinical coordinator at Strawberry Mansion Mental Health Clinic in Philadelphia; a social worker who coordinated drug and alcohol abuse-prevention programs in the Centennial School District in Bucks County; and was a social worker for emotionally disturbed and brain-injured children and their parents at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. He also supervised graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

From 1966 to 1975, Mr. Turner held various positions at Eagleville Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats patients with substance addictions

In the early 1960s, Mr. Turner was a social worker and coordinator for the "skid-row project" developed by the Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center of Philadelphia to reach out to homeless men.

A native of Utica, N.Y., Mr. Turner served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II as a communications officer aboard the destroyer escort Pratt.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from Amherst College. He attended Union Theological Seminary and the New School of Social Research in New York and earned a master's degree in social work from Columbia University.

He held positions with social-welfare agencies in New York and New Jersey before moving to Philadelphia in 1959 to direct the Careers in Social Work project sponsored by the Health and Welfare Council.

Mr. Turner sang with choirs at St. Peter's and St. Martin-in-the Fields Episcopal Churches in Philadelphia, and with the Burlington Choral Society. He loved to sail, hike, and ski with his children and grandchildren far into his later years, his son Michael said. "He was known as a caring, adventurous, gentle man with a very positive attitude, humility, and temperance," his son said.

Mr. Turner's most beloved place on earth was his summer home in Piseco, N.Y., his son said, and he had gone for his morning swim in the lake there two days before he died.

In addition to his son, Mr. Turner is survived by his wife of 60 years, Paula Gordon Turner; another son, Adam; a daughter, Julie; a sister; and four grandchildren.

Services are private.

Donations may be made to the Adirondack Council, Box D-2, Elizabethtown, N.Y. 12932.


Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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