Bernard L Turner, Co-Founder (July 24,1926- May 4, 2021)

“My thoughts about our lives and the society within which we live, center around our ability to fathom our societal problems, and then, when we do, generate the will and motivation to play a role in impacting ourselves, others, and the society at large in a positive manner. I have had in depth exposure to the world of business and labor, having served on bank boards, as an economist with the National Industrial Conference Board, and as an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union. I have spent decades teaching and administrating on educational levels from grade school through the doctorate, and have played a role impacting the development of institutions that are concerned about positive social change. My core belief is that the individual has the capacity to grow and learn, regardless of age, and, through the acquisition of knowledge and its application, help create a better society.”

Rita Turner, Co-Founder (March 7, 1931- April 10, 2021)

“My most significant accomplishments are grounded in the experiential discovery and recognition that if you seriously believe something is important and you stand up to be counted, others who respect your endeavor, will stand up with you and contribute their support in strengthening and expanding significant goals.

This realization enabled me to confidently organize and unite broad based community action groups, composed of official representatives from major religious, business, civic, educational, professional and other groups, to actively support a common goal, as well as to focus professional. interest and contributions toward improving educational standards within a school system. Ultimately, this led to challenging the methods of traditional bodies; leading to the acquisition of the “holy” Ph.D or Ed.D, programs. Confidently, along with my husband, and the many others who contributed to this endeavor, we ultimately re-designed and implemented a personally meaningful and individualized way of achieving and demonstrating the required knowledge to earn a Doctorate, and now other degrees, while remaining employed and off-campus. The unequivocal demonstration of acceptable quality in meeting required standards enabled Walden University to become accredited, and other similar institutions to follow suit, thus enabling a broader spectrum of society to earn more meaningful degrees.”


It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of our beloved “Dr. Al.” Just a few days before Christmas, our long-time Board member passed away at the very young age of 94. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 37 years, and by his adult children, Nancy, Wendy and Peter. He was pre-deceased by his son, Scott.

Born in a small southern Illinois town, Allen moved with his family to Chicago when he was 14. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and interned at Cook County Hospital. He practiced medicine in the Chicago area for 35 years and taught at Chicago Medical School and at Loyola University’s School of Medicine.

After moving to Bonita Springs some 25 years ago, Dr. Al joined the Center for Critical Thinking in its earliest days and served on both the Active and Emeritus Boards. He gave many fascinating lectures to CCT audiences on a range of medical topics, including end-of-life issues, quack medicine, stem cell research and personalized medicine. Allen was especially proud of his two published books: Hitler’s Silver Box, a historical thriller, and Always on Call, a memoir. He was also a skilled raconteur, a storyteller of great renown, and a man never without a twinkle in his eye.

Dr. Allen Malnak was a great physician, husband, father, and author. He was a major contributor to the growth of the Center for Critical Thinking and, via the CCT, to the intellectual life of Naples and Southwest Florida. We are proud and grateful that Dr. Al chose to bless the CCT with his knowledge, friendship, and wit. He will be deeply missed.