John McKinley’s brother in-law, Don Turrentine, was one of the first volunteers at the National WWI Museum and Memorial and continued to volunteer for ten years, from 2005 to 2015. Don’s wife, Gayle Turrentine, is also a longtime supporter. McKinley wanted to recognize the Turrentines’ dedication to the Museum and Memorial and Don’s talents as a docent. “I wanted to do something good for Don and Gayle and realized we could honor them and support the Museum and Memorial.” McKinley made a contribution to the Museum and Memorial in honor of Don and Gayle, dedicating one of the benches on the Museum and Memorial grounds in honor of their years of service. “I think when a person has done something good, such as serving their country or donating their time, that’s something they can’t get back, and recognizing them in this way is very special.”
For Don and Gayle Turrentine, the bench dedication ceremony with their family present on April 28, 2018, was a moving experience. “It was a very special honor to have a memorial bench in recognition of our service to the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Museum and Memorial is a national treasure. There is no place else that has such remarkable exhibits and collections on the Great War.” The bench’s location also holds special meaning to the Turrentines, as it faces the north lawn where the 1926 dedication of the Liberty Memorial took place. Don also shares a special connection with the Great Frieze located above the bench. The Great Frieze located on the Museum and Memorial’s north wall was completed in 1935, the same year Don was born. “The ceremony was excellent, and the location of the bench is perfect. It will be one of our favorite family memories.”
The Museum and Memorial wishes to share our appreciation to Don and Gayle for their longtime friendship and advocacy. Thank you!
If you are interested in volunteering at the Museum and Memorial, visit our Volunteer page for more information. For information about purchasing a bench, contact our Individual Giving Specialist, Sarah Foltz, at 816.888.8129.