Cover photo for Susan Hanrahan Turben's Obituary
Susan Hanrahan Turben Profile Photo

Susan Hanrahan Turben

November 6, 1936 — November 6, 2023

Kirtland Hills

Susan Hanrahan Turben

Dr. Susan Hanrahan Turben (11/06/1936 – 11/06/2023)


On November 6, 2023, her 87th birthday, Susan Hanrahan Turben passed away peacefully. She leaves her beloved husband of 47 years John F. Turben (Jack) of Kirtland Hills, OH, sister Mary H. Berlow of Buffalo, NY and children Newton S. Kimberly, Jr. (Elizabeth) of Chagrin Falls, OH, James H. Kimberly (Beth) of Wolfeboro, NH, Mary S. Kimberly of Chautauqua, NY, David C. Turben (Lisa) of Newbury, OH, Nicholas A. Turben (Caroline) of Boonton Township, NJ. She leaves 11 grandchildren and 4 great–grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents James and Sylvina (Tubbs) Hanrahan and first husband Newton S. Kimberly (Sam).


Susan was a lifelong learner, receiving her Associate of Arts from Bradford College (MA), 1956, a Bachelor’s in Child Development, SUNY Empire State College, 1972 and a M. Ed., 1978 and Ph.D. 1987 in Early Childhood and Special Education from Kent State University. In 2005 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from SUNY Empire State College where she was an active member of the Foundation Board.  It is at SUNY Empire State College where The Susan H. Turben Chair in Mentoring was created. This endowed chair is named after Susan, the second graduate of the college and an internationally recognized expert on families and child development.


Susan was the founder of Turben Developmental Services providing child developmental and parenting services for adults and their young children. For over a decade she traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in order to teach professionals in her field. In her career she was a faculty and staff member at Lake Erie College and Lakeland Community College, and taught graduate courses in early childhood development at John Carroll University. Susan also worked with the DDC Clinic in Middlefield, OH working with Amish families.


Susan was president of the Susan and John Turben Foundation that helps and supports non-profit organizations. She also served on the board of the Greater Cleveland Sight Center where she and Jack founded the Children Services Fund. She was a trustee and past chairman of Ideastream Public Media and helped steer the merger of WVIZ television and WCPN radio. She also served on the boards of the National Public Radio Foundation, Yale School of Medicine Autism studies and Multiple Sclerosis Buckeye Chapter.


Susan and Jack are owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Madison, OH, generously offering the home to students at University School for research and a greater understanding of modern architecture. The house is part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and has been awarded National Historic Society status.


In her lifetime, Susan was a proud member of the Westminster Church in Buffalo, NY, the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, NY, and the First Presbyterian Church of Willoughby, OH where she was a member of the choir for 35 years.


Susan was a wonderful wife to Jack and her first husband, Sam who died from the ravages of MS in 1976. She was a very active and involved grandmother to eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 14, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church of Willoughby, 4785 Shankland Road with reception to follow at The Kirtland Country Club, 39438 Kirtland Road.


Friends who are unable to attend the service may view it by joining livestream:


Memorial gifts in celebration of Susan's life can be directed to support University School’s Turben Family Faculty Children’s Fund online at or via mail at 2785 SOM Center Road, Hunting Valley, OH  44022; or the Susan H. Turben Director of Autism Advocacy endowment at Empire State University online at or via mail at 28 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY  12866.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church of Willoughby

4785 Shankland Rd, Willoughby, OH 44094


Click to watch

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