Kelsey Leyva | Civitas Media
Glen Turner holds up his Firelands rally towel after being escorted onto the field by his wife Peggy and daughter Kim Habeck.
Glen Turner has poured years of his life into supporting the Firelands Schools.
The 75-year-old was recognized Friday with a surprise ceremony prior to the Falcons varsity football game versus the Vermilion Sailors.
“He’s been the person cooking steaks at every steak fry we’ve had. He’s a fixture. He’s the bricks and mortar of this district,” said district spokeswoman Jennifer Butchko.
“He’s still going out to every single event we have,” she said. “He’s been with us more than 50 years between children and grandchildren… It’s something that’s close to our heart as a district.”
From leading the Athletic Boosters to helping any number of parent-teacher groups, Turner has done it all.
He could even be seen shagging balls on the sidelines in 95-degree weather at the Lorain County Soccer Preview this fall, just so the girls players wouldn’t get too tired.
Over the years, he’s also sold basketball and football game programs, coached baseball, and helped organize dairyman’s banquets.
“He is not only one of Firelands’ biggest fans, but the best coach, father, and grandfather ever known. Even through his bout with cancer, Glen continued to go to the schools activities. He never let it get him down and it probably helped get him through such a stressful time,” an announcer read prior to Friday’s game.
Alumni and teachers turned out in force to honor Turner’s commitment to the district. Even student athletes from the girls soccer team, boys soccer team, volleyball team, and others were present at the surprise party.
Turner’s actual birthday was Sept. 3, but that only added to the shock he experienced after walking into the high school’s cafeteria. He said he gave and received at least 100 hugs at the party alone.
Turner is not a graduate of Firelands but has ushered two generations of his offspring through its halls. Only one has yet to graduate: sophomore Grace Habeck.
He described his time in the district as “43 years of pure love.”
“It’s just unbelievable how they show me love. I’ve never had a bad experience here,” he said. “I wouldn’t think about leaving… When I do it’ll be six feet under. I’ll do it ‘til the day I die.”