Gilbert school kindergarten teacher dies - East Valley Tribune: News

Gilbert school kindergarten teacher dies

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Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:39 pm | Updated: 2:52 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A beloved half-day kindergarten teacher from Gilbert's Spectrum Elementary School died on Saturday, according to district officials.

Celia Turley was in her first year teaching at Spectrum, near Frye Road and Val Vista Drive, in the Gilbert Unified School District.

The 39-year-old mother of five taught the morning half-day kindergarten classes, said Patsy Rockrich, a Spectrum administrative assistant.

"She was very outgoing, very loving," Rockrich said. "She was a very kind person, and would do anything for anyone."

Principal Debbie Singleton said in a statement, "Mrs. Turley was a half-time kindergarten teacher who gave a full-time effort to every one of her students."

Counselors and social workers from the district's crisis response team have been on campus "to provide comfort and support to Spectrum's staff, students and their parents," said district spokeswoman Dianne Bowers in an e-mail.

Turley died of complications related to leukemia, school staff confirmed Wednesday.

A fundraiser held at a Gilbert McDonald's Tuesday night raised almost $400 for the family, although final donations are still being counted, Rockrich said.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3025 S. Hawes Road, Mesa.

Turley, who lived in Mesa, is survived by her husband, Darren Turley, and their five children.

For information on donating to the Turley family, call Spectrum Elementary at (480) 917-0117.

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