10/12/1969 - 10/18/17


Ian Hugh Turvill, age 48, died Wednesday, October 18, in his Evanston, IL home.  He is survived by his wife,  Dr. Marny Morrison Turvill; their children Claire (18) and Jack (15); his mother, Eileen Turvill of Bexley, Kent, England; his brother, Michael Turvill of Manila, Philippines; and his parents-in-law Barbara and John Morrison of Evanston.  He was preceded in death by his father, William Turvill. 

Ian was a graduate of Oxford University and the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.  He was the Chief Marketing Officer at Freeborn & Peters law firm in Chicago and was active nationally in the Legal Marketing Association, including as president-elect of the LMA Midwest Region.  

A Note from Marny

 RIP - On Wednesday, October 18, Ian, my husband of nearly 22 years, took his life out of desperation from the demons that have haunted him for all of his adult life and probably beyond that. Those of you who know me, know that while he loved me dearly and was in awe of my talent and drive he rarely shared that with me and was a difficult man to live with. I have to acknowledge that, but it does not diminish in any way the love I had for his best self, how brilliant and caring he was to everyone else in the world, and especially how devoted he was as a father and the significant contribution he made to Claire (18) and Jack (15) becoming the totally amazing, mature, hilarious, and brilliant young adults that they are. 

His death was a shock to us but not a surprise. Everyone who knew Ian loved him, except for Ian himself. He will be sorely missed in this world. When I found him, he looked like he was sleeping peacefully - so much so that I didn't immediately realize what had happened. I am confident that he is now at peace and that he knows that because of all that he provided for us and taught us, we will not only be okay, but we will thrive even though there will always be a hole in our hearts.

We are doing well. My parents live across the street from us, and we are surrounded by love and support. In grand irony, my professional work for the last 4 years, which was fueled by my own recovery, has been in the field of post-traumatic stress, helping people very similar to Ian to release their demons, learn to love themselves and create a life that they love. The true tragedy is that Ian had all the tools he needed to shift his life, but he was unable to see the point in utilizing them despite seeing me recover from similar issues and being told how important and valuable he was regularly by me, Claire, Jack and many of his colleagues.  He was receiving intensive support in his final weeks, and it simply and tragically was not enough.

Obviously, this loss impacts our children at a level that I can't begin to fully appreciate, but I am in awe of how they are responding even while I am vigilant for their well-being and am openly discussing things with them and assuring that they have the support of friends, adult male role models and skilled grief counselors. 

The outpouring of support we have received from our friends and from colleagues of Ian's that the three of us have never met has been astounding. It has been such a joy to hear how positive an impact Ian was on so many people's lives and to witness the high regard in which he was held professionally. We can't thank you enough for taking the  time to share your love for Ian with us in this difficult time.

A Note from Claire

On Wednesday morning my father decided to end his life. He decided that he couldn’t cope with all the pain and grief he was feeling anymore. So he decided that in order to rid himself of his grief and the grief he incorrectly believed he was causing others, he would leave behind the people who love him most in this world.

Depression is serious. According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. One person’s depression may not be as serious as another’s. But regardless, depression is still very real and very serious.

It is very possible that someone you know suffers from some form of depression, two years ago I suffered from depression after my grandfather’s death. Luckily this time I have a much stronger support system and am in a much better place mentally.

Over 90% of people who die by suicide have some form of clinical depression. If you or someone you know is suffering, don’t let them go at it alone. Let them know that they have a support system. And if they shows suicidal signs, suggest they see a counselor or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255). Each year, 44,193 Americans die by suicide.

Dad, I’m sorry that you couldn’t find the help you needed and that this seemed like the best option. I will forever love and miss you. You never ever disappointed me, you were always someone I looked up to, I’m sorry that you had such a difficult time seeing your own awesomeness.

Memorial Service Video

We cannot thank Freeborn & Peters enough for their extreme generosity, thoughtfulness, and diligent effort gifting us and Ian a truly magnificent Memorial Service, and we are grateful to the many people who were there with us to celebrate Ian's life. Ian, himself, would have loved it! 

                                                             ~ Marny, Claire & Jack Turvill and the extended Turvill and Morrison families.

Video Contents

0:00:00 Welcome - Lou Bury, Freeborn

0:00:43 Claire Turvill

0:06:39 Marny Turvill speaking for Jack Turvill

0:18:17 Ian as the Major General, The Pirates of Penzance (age ~14)

0:26:56 Michael Turvill, Ian's brother

0:38:26 Nite Sprite, featuring Steve Gadd on drums

0:46:25 John Morrison, Marny's father

0:53:54 Lou Bury, Freeborn

1:02:23 BBC Talking Animals

1:07:24 Marny Turvill

1:31:58 Chien Triste

Make a donation to honour Ian

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Mindful Schools and/or the Turvill Children's Education Fund to honour (British spelling!) Ian.

Mindful Schools

Ian suffered from depression and anxiety that were rooted in post-traumatic stress. We have chosen to honour Ian by selecting Mindful Schools as our charity of choice.  

While organizations that offer suicide prevention or post-traumatic stress services might seem more appropriate at first glance, the truth is that by the time people reach the stage of needing suicide prevention, the odds of them receiving the help they need are not good.  Similarly, there are millions of people worldwide who, like Ian, suffer from post-traumatic stress without meeting the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and therefore are unaware that there is real and meaningful help for them. Our goal is to significantly reduce the need for suicide prevention services by helping children and their families to receive proactive education in self-love, self-care, compassion, and stress reduction so that they are better equipped to cope with life's inevitable traumas in a positive way.

Information from Mindful Schools:

 Healthy stress is a natural part of life, including childhood. Children and adults alike need to be challenged in order to grow and develop. However, in the modern education system, healthy stress is frequently displaced by toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when life’s demands consistently outpace our ability to cope with those demands. 


Students: Toxic stress impairs attention, emotion and mood regulation, sleep, and learning readiness daily in American classrooms. Even more troubling, prolonged exposure to childhood toxic stress has lifelong impacts on mental and physical health. 

Parents:  Toxic stress can lead to a parenting style that looks more like a “to-do” list, rather than an empathic, present-centered relationship with a developing child. Exposure to parental stress in early childhood has been shown to impact gene expression even years later in adolescence. 

Educators:  Toxic stress starts as decreased productivity and creativity, escalating to more serious symptoms like frequent anxiety, dissociation, frustration, and, eventually, burnout. Roughly half a million U.S. teachers leave the profession each year – a turnover rate of over 20 percent

Our Solution: Mindfulness

Because the roots of toxic stress lie deep in the nervous system, we need tools that go beyond the conceptual mind to directly target that system. To transform our habitual responses, we need to regularly practice our skills when we are not in “fight – flight – freeze” mode. 

Our courses establish two forms of training as the foundation for teaching other methods of stress management, emotion regulation, and interpersonal skills.  The development of mindfulness, a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment.  The development of heartfulness, intentional nurturing of positive mind states such as kindness and compassion. 

These two trainings improve our ability to manage a number of significant psychological challenges associated with stress, including:

  • Overwhelm. The sense that life – and particularly your own thoughts and emotions – is “too much to handle.”
  • Busyness. The sense that “doing things” has become compulsive – that you are constantly avoiding simply being with yourself.
  • Rumination. The sense that the same stressful thought patterns “loop” over and over again in your mind without being questioned.
  • Dissociation. The sense that you maintain unhealthy psychological distance from life and from people, cut off from your own and other people’s emotions.
  • Narcissism. The sense that life is about defending, protecting and enhancing one’s sense of self. A lack of empathy for the needs of others and an inability to take compassionate action.

 In discussing how mindfulness practice addresses stress and other problems in education, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that mindfulness can take us beyond the terrain of managing symptoms to a place where we are developing the deepest capacities of the human mind. 

Not just coping. Thriving!

Turvill Children's Education Fund

Education was one of Ian's highest values.  Helping Claire and Jack to succeed in school and to develop themselves in extracurricular activities was extremely important to him. He regularly helped them with homework, encouraging them to go the extra mile to add to their understanding of a topic and to exceed the requirements of an assignment whenever possible. He volunteered tirelessly, including in activities he himself did not enjoy (camping, etc.!), to assure that Claire and Jack had the best possible experiences. 

Your donation to the Turvill Children's Education Fund would both honor Ian and support Claire and Jack in becoming the best people they can be and in achieving their dreams. 

Claire is currently a freshman at the University of Rochester.  She is designing her own major in "Vision Science" to prepare her for a career in Neuro-behavioral Optometry, the study and treatment of visual processing disorders.  Jack is currently a freshman at Evanston Township High School. He is not yet sure what his career goals are, but, like his dad, he has a love of both science and the global economy.


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