Siena Loses One of Its Biggest Fans: Gino Turchi

It was so sad to hear of the passing of one of Siena’s greatest supporters, Gino Turchi who died on Saturday at the age of 96. His spirit and commitment epitomize what it means to be a true Siena Saints fan. Gino’s mark left at Siena is much more than the Turchi Theater or Turchi Road, the drive which leads into the ARC. Certainly his financial support of Siena Athletics and other causes throughout the Capital District have left a great legacy behind. But, it is his enthusiasm , dedication and love for Siena that rise above all of his contributions

 An accomplished golfer, Gino spoke with pride that in 1963 he purchased land and on his own,   built the Northway Heights golf course later to be known as Eagle Crest. One of his substantial contributions  helps to fund scholarships for the men’s and women’s golf teams at Siena. His generosity extended further in his support for the YMCA and the Albany College of Pharmacy, as well as to individuals by paying for medical bills and bereavement related costs to those in need. The Turchis’ contributions were a way of honoring the memory of their only son “Gigi” who passed away in 1993.  Gino was recognized for his kindness by Siena in 2005 when was awarded the honorary degree of Doctorate in Humane Letters. He was proud to share that distinction with New York Yankee, Derek Jeter.
Gino’s friendly smile, his enthusiasm, his optimism and his excitement while on the sidelines of so many Siena sporting events were everything that a coach, an athlete, a team or a fellow fan could ask for.
Although I have known of Gino for many years it is only over the past couple seasons that I have gotten to know he and his wife Willie a bit. Whether on the sidelines at practice in the ARC, where I first met him, or while visiting before a men’s or women’s basketball game it was always a pleasure to share the bond of cheering for the Saints. We spoke more than once of the importance of rooting for your team and sticking with them through thick and thin.  It is that spirit for which I admired him most.
Thoughts and prayers go out to his wonderful wife of 73 years, Willie and may Gino rest in peace. He is sure to be in that number, when the Saints Go Marching In.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Gino will be celebrated on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m. at the Marcelle Athletic Complex, Siena College, Loudonville, NY . Viewing hours are Wednesday, Dec. 19, 3-7 p.m. at the Marcelle Athletic Complex. Interment will follow the Mass on Thurs. at the Turchi Family Plot at the Jonesville Cemetery, Jonesville, N.Y. Arrangements are by Glenville Funeral Home, Scotia-Glenville, N.Y. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Turchi Family Scholarship, Siena College, attn: Ruth Richards, 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211.

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