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Monica Marie (Estill ’98) Turner

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Monica Marie (Estill ’98) Turner, who died peacefully on May 25. On a gofundme page to help pay for funeral expenses, her husband of 10 years, Gerald, writes: “She worked so hard on getting well for the last year, but at the end fully accepted that God was calling her back to him. Her faith never wavered, and the love she had for family and friends only grew and became stronger as her health diminished.”

A lifelong artist, Mrs. Turner came to Thomas Aquinas College at the age of 28 after spending some time as a professional illustrator and testing a vocation in a cloistered monastery. “It was time to develop the intellect,” reads her biography on Fine Art America. “She knew how to draw and paint well enough for now.”

The biography continues:

1994 saw the glorious acceptance of Monica Estill into Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. A Great Books college, students spend four years dedicated to the rigorous study of the greatest writings of Western culture. It was only after graduating from this most difficult course of study in 1998 that Monica was finally able, with absolute certainty, to choose to dedicate herself to her art. Plato, Aristotle, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Tolstoy and Shakespeare, just to name a few, convinced her that art is important, nay imperative, to the growth and flourishing of society. Artists must do their art, there can be no progress without it.

In addition to illustrating the covers for the College’s Freshman Natural Science Manuals and various other works, Mrs. Turner would go on to publish a children’s book, The Bossy Boulder, and a coloring book for adults and children alike, Alaska’s Wild Life. “Anyone that knew Monica knew she was a sweet, kind woman and it is not surprising she wrote children's books,” says Mark Kretschmer (’99), the College’s vice president for operations.

Mrs. Turner is remembered well on both of Thomas Aquinas College’s campuses. Her onetime fellow student, Dr. Marco Emerson (’98), now a tutor on the New England campus, remarks, “She was such a peaceful and happy person who seemed to really love the College.” And in California, her former tutor, Dr. Glen Coughlin (’81), adds, “I remember having her in class and also her smile as she served lunches every day. May God rest her soul in beatitude.”