75th Edition Introducing Gordon Turner: A Journey from Cannon Balls to Career Success

Gordon E. Turner was a member of the Class of 1953, which predates the official opening of Colonie Central High School. His educational journey was intertwined with the early days of the school district’s expansion, as the high school transitioned from Roessleville to the newly established Colonie Central High School that our students attend today. 

As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, Gordon’s experience stands as a testament to the impact of our legacy as a school district. His recollections of his time at Colonie serve as a lasting source of inspiration for both past and present generations.

Photo Gordon Turner’s Kindergarten Class 1939
Gordon Turner’s Kindergarten Class 1939

Meet Gordon Turner

Gordon Turner began his life in Colonie after moving to Osborne Road from the city of Albany. Shortly after, his father purchased a plot of land and got to work building a house for himself and his family. Gordon remembered helping his father excavate this property on Frederick Ave, recalling an instance when the two discovered a cannon ball buried deep below the lawn of the property. Gordon excitedly suspected this may be a relic of the Civil War. 

It was within those very walls of the house that Gordon’s true journey began as a student at Roessleville High School. This was an era when school buses were merely a distant concept, and daily treks to and from school were the norm. In the tight-knit Colonie community, Gordon found comfort in the familiarity of his fellow students – a place where “everybody knew everybody.”

yearbook photo from 1953
Gordon “Gordie” Turner 1953

As a student, Gordon earned a variety of nicknames, including the affectionate “Gordie,” immortalized beneath his photograph in the 1953 Rougetor yearbook. However, it was another endearing title, “circus bum,” that truly captured his heart. Gordon’s love for the circus led him to a pivotal moment during his freshman year when he enrolled in a mechanical drawing class.

This early success kindled a lifelong passion within Gordon. After high school, he decided to channel his talents toward General Electric, applying for an apprentice course. Although he did not secure his initially sought-after position, fate intervened. 

Overhearing a conversation among hiring staff praising his exceptional drawing skills, he was offered a different opportunity—to be trained from the ground up. This marked the beginning of his journey at GE, starting in the printing office and eventually realizing his dream role as a technical artist. Along the way, Gordon ventured into the patent office, advertising and sales departments, and even promotional work. A promotion led him to Washington, DC, for 12 years, but Gordon returned to Colonie, concluding the last four years of his career by overseeing the mechanical drawing room for General Electric. After a fulfilling four-decade-long career fueled by the education he received at Colonie, Gordon reflected, “I would take my career and my time living in Colonie all over again tomorrow.”

A Celebratory Milestone

As we commemorate our 75th year as a school district, Gordon Turner’s remarkable life story serves as a reminder that our district’s impact extends far beyond graduation. If you are a Colonie Alum or have a memorable story to share, please reach out to communications@scolonie.org and help us bring light to the many stories that have proudly shaped our school district for the past 75 years.