This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.
Dr. William E. Turcotte, 87, of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully Wednesday August 26, 2020. He was the husband of Joan (Crowley) Turcotte. Born in Lowell, MA on October 28, 1932, he was the son of the late Ernest and Mable (Toohey) Turcotte. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1955 and received an MBA (1965) and a DBA (1972) from the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Turcotte retired from the Naval War College in 2003 where for 28 years he held the position of Chairman, Nation Security Decision Making Department and the Forrestal Chair of Military Management. In 1994, he was instrumental in designing the curriculum for the European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served for 20 years as a US Naval Officer, retiring as a Commander. His Navy duties included: the USS Intrepid, USS Jonas Ingram, Seventh Fleet Staff, Naval Station Rota Spain, and various Washington assignments.
During his time at the Naval War College he was instrumental in developing and leading National Security seminars throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America earning him several accolades including the honor of receiving the Department of Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Superior Civilian Service Award. Upon retirement, Dr. Turcotte received a personal letter from the Vice Chief of Naval Operations which noted that he had been “the single most influential and continuous contributor to a realization of the superb reputation the Naval War College continues to enjoy throughout the world”. At that time, he was also designated Chairman Emeritus by the President, Naval War College.
Dr. Turcotte was a long time member of the Newport Country Club where he served several years as the Golf Chairman. He was a former Board Member of Child and Family Services of Newport County and also served as President of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Southeastern New England. He was a former member of the Board of Visitors, Salve Regina College. He taught graduate courses at Salve Regina College, the University of Rhode Island, Bryant College, and in IBM Executive Development programs.
Dr. Turcotte was an avid golfer, fisherman, and skier. He enjoyed all types of music but held a large appreciation and love for a perfect pint and Irish song. One of his favorite quotes, while golfing in Ireland, his Irish host told him “You must have a happy life because you have a lived in face”.
Dr. Turcotte leaves behind his wife and four children, Joan (Crowley) Turcotte, William E. and Karen Turcotte II, of CO, Stephen and Grace Turcotte, of Newport, Suzanne Turcotte, of Barrington, Henry and Kristin (Turcotte) Mahoney, of VT. He also leaves four grandchildren, Kelly and Jamie Turcotte, of CO, Riley Turcotte, of Newport and Colton Pulsifer, of Barrington.
Calling hours will be held Monday August 31, 2020 from 4 – 7, in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 10:00 am, in St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Avenue, Newport. Burial will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to Child and Family RI, 31 John Clarke Road, Middletown, RI 02842 or by visiting www.childandfamilyri.com/get-involved/donate.
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