Donate in Memory

Dr. Carl John Turkstra

Surrounded by family and friends, Carl passed away peacefully on May 22, 2022, at 85.

Husband to Kate Turkstra, father to Peter (Karen Turkstra) and Jennifer Turkstra (Matthew Soar), grandfather to Sarah, Laura, Kate, and Max. He is predeceased by proud immigrant parents, Peter, and Tina Turkstra. Carl is survived by his siblings, Herman Turkstra, Clifford Turkstra and Marlene Verduyn.

Married for 60 years, he knew that he “married up” and idolized his wife, Kate. When she was heartbreakingly slowed by Alzheimer’s, he stayed by her side for as long as was feasible. Once they were together again at Amica, he would light up whenever he was in her company.

While the joys of physical exercise eluded him, Carl’s intellectual curiosity and energy were boundless. An avid reader, he also appreciated a great steak and a good martini, but, as many of his guests can confirm, he also had a remarkable affinity for truly terrible coffee.

Professionally, Carl switched from a successful career in academia to the family business, Turkstra Lumber, in 1989. His timing could have been better as he arrived during the most significant construction recession since the Depression. Carl buckled down and transformed the company. He cared passionately about the employees at Turkstra Lumber and was instrumental in introducing benefits and a pension plan that was, at the time, unheard of in the retail lumber industry.

Together, Carl and Kate helped transform the face and funding of Hamilton’s vital Arts institutions. Having lived in London, Montreal, and New York, they believed passionately that any modern city needs to have a thriving arts culture. He then created and funded the Incite Foundation for the Arts. To this day, Incite continues to support a wide variety of arts, education and music programs both large and small.

Carl was cremated through Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre in Dundas. Always the engineer, he asked that his ashes be spread at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Second only to his love for his wife, he loved his engineering ring.

Our family wishes to thank Dr. Macaluso, Dr. Margetts, the wonderful dialysis nursing team, the caring nurses, kind personal support staff and the entire team at Amica. The coordinated effort to put the focus on Carl’s last days was handled with dignity and compassion. We would also be remiss if we didn’t recognize the dedication and care demonstrated by Liz Stirling and Rita MacDonald.

A “right proper” celebration of his life, recognizing his accomplishments, will be held later this summer or fall. A group of passionate friends and family will organize the event, and they will be sure to invite the community to celebrate Carl’s extraordinary contributions and his life.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favourite charity related to the Arts Community in Hamilton.

Condolences, memories, and photos may be left at

Inciting Success For The Arts in Hamilton

Founded in 2011, the incite Foundation for the Arts is a non profit organization dedicated to revolutionizing support for the arts in the Hamilton Community. Our organization strives to enrich the lives of Hamiltonians and visitors by championing visual and performing arts charitable institutions in the area.

We intensely believe in the power of the arts to enrich communities, attract new visitors and economic growth to our city, initiate strong bonds of friendship and promote confidence and self esteem in individuals of all ages. Our goal is to create a cultural revolution in Hamilton by allowing arts related organizations to thrive without fear of monetary encumbrance. Since 2011, incite has donated $3,500,000 to Hamilton area arts organizations.

Tax deductible donations to the work of the incite Foundation are very welcome. Join us in inciting a cultural revolution and contributing to the artistic heritage and future of the city of Hamilton.