MARQUETTE, MI. - William George "Bill" Turner Jr. of Marquette was welcomed into everlasting life by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, October 12, 2012.
Bill was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on March 29, 1947 to William and Elsie (Bietner) Turner. He was raised in Milford, Conn. where he graduated from Milford High School in 1965. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and married his college sweetheart Carole O'Connor in the summer of 1969. Together they were blessed with two children Rebecca Leigh and Eric Scott.
Bill was commissioned a second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in April 1970 and served his country during the Vietnam Era. He was stationed at Laredo AFB, Texas, Westover AFB, Massachusetts, Kadena AFB, Japan, and the Celebreeze Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio. He separated from the Air Force as a Captain to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a psychologist. He received his Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Cleveland State University in 1981 and that year accepted a position at the Marquette-Alger Intermediate School District, now Marquette Alger Regional Educational Service Agency as a school psychologist where he was employed for twenty eight years. He serviced all the school districts in the area as well as Great Lakes Recovery Youth Facility, the Marquette County Youth Home and the Teaching Family Home in the Marquette.
William George “Bill” Turner Jr.
Bill was exemplary in his service to the children and families of Marquette-Alger counties. He is remembered as living his life with integrity and faith as he aligned his actions with Biblical teachings. His trustworthiness and caring nature brought comfort to many. Through his smile and attentiveness he made others feel valued. He was collaborative and insightful as he worked for the local schools helping diagnose and prescribe accommodations for children with special needs and their families. Bill found delight in relationships and brought out the best in those around him. His positive attitude lighted the spirits of others. He laughed often and knew how to live life passionately.
Bill was a man of great faith in Jesus Christ. He was a member of Lake Superior Christian Church where he served as an elder, deacon, counselor, shepherding deacon, financial advisor and a Sunday school teacher. He especially enjoyed facilitating the Crossroads home bible study because he loved to learn and enjoyed the close friendships that grew from the group.
Bill also played on LSCC's softball team for twenty years. Together with his wife, they mentored couples who were engaged to be married.
Bill was a voracious reader. He enjoyed fishing around the lakes of the U.P. and working out at Advantedge Training. Traveling around the United States was one of Bill's passions. He managed to visit all but two states. His favorite vacation spot was any beach on the Cape Cod peninsula. He loved to travel, though his happiest moments always involved creating memories with his family.
Bill took great pride in watching his grandchildren Kaylie and Andrew participate in sporting and school events in Ishpeming. He encouraged and taught them through his example of perseverance and always giving his best effort regardless of the circumstances. In January 2012, he was blessed with the birth of his third grandchild, Kaden who brightened his outlook daily.
Bill was an avid sports fan, and baseball was his passion. When he wasn't playing, he was a die-hard fan of the New York Yankees. He hardly missed watching or listening to a game. He also was able to watch the Yankees play in almost every American league ballpark. In August 2011, through the efforts of his cousin Paul, Bill was invited to meet with the entire Yankee team in the dugout before a game at the stadium. He also looked forward every year to attending football games at Lambeau Field and rooting for the Pack. In 1991 he witnessed the NMU hockey Wildcats win the National Championship in St. Paul.
In October of 2008, Bill was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer: glioblastoma multiform. His unquestioning faith in God's love provided him strength in times of need. Eager to continue to make a difference in the lives of others, he determinedly lived his life in order to inspire others who may be going through rough times. His spirit of courage was mirrored in his smile and connection with people.
Besides his wife Carole of forty-three years, he leaves behind a daughter, Rebecca Turner (Geoff Wittala) of Ishpeming, a son, Eric (Heather) Turner of Marquette, three grandchildren Kaylie and Andrew Engler of Ishpeming and Kaden Turner of Marquette; a mother, Elsie Turner-Wilson (Alton Wilson) of Wallingford, Connecticut; a sister Diane (John) Gaydos of Milford, Connecticut, a brother-in-law Thomas O'Connor of Hagerstown, Maryland; an uncle George Beitner of San Diego, California; an aunt, Norma (Harold) Blair of Hope Valley, Rhode Island and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his father William Turner Sr. in 1992.
The family offers deep gratitude to Drs. Acharya, Rovin, Skindzel and Kirkam. We also offer loving thanks to the staff of Lake Superior Hospice, the Jacobetti Home for Veterans, and the Oncology Nurses and Staff at the Peninsula Medical Center. Bill will be sadly missed by his Crossroads Bible friends, Ann and Larry Chappel of Traverse City and Peggy and Lou Imperato of Milford, Conn.
Memorial gifts are welcome and may be made out to Lake Superior Hospice and/or the Jacobetti Home for Veterans.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 3:00 7:00 p.m. at Lake Superior Christian Church located at 393 M553 in Marquette, MI. A celebration of Bill's life lead by Evangelist Bud Holmes will take place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. with a visitation preceding the service starting at 12:00 noon. Internment will take place at the Park Cemetery in Marquette where the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #380 will perform military honors.
Serving as pallbearers are Andrew Engler, John Gaydos, Larry Chappel, Thomas O'Connor, Geoff Wiitala, Jeff Kleinschmidt, Bill Twa and Louis Imperato. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Ishpeming Girls basketball class of 2015.
Bill's obituary may also be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.