Bruce Stanton Turner
MARQUETTE, MI – Bruce Stanton Turner, age 82, of Marquette, fell asleep in death, on Saturday, January 9, 2021, at UP Health System – Marquette.
Born February 7, 1938, in Sturgis, Michigan, a son of Myron Jacob “Bud” and Thelma Margaret (Steffee) Turner, Bruce was raised in Sturgis from where he graduated from high school. His long career in broadcasting began in Sturgis where he served as a D.J. with WSTR following an initial interview. His career continued in Marinette, Wisconsin with WMAM as an announcer. He relocated to Marquette in 1959 and joined the staff of the newly formed WDMJ-TV which signed in on April 28, 1956, the Upper Peninsula’s first television station, which later became WLUC-TV6. The new station had limited space, personnel, and everyone did whatever was needed. Bruce, for his part, was blessed with a rich, mellow voice which registered with his listeners. As announcer at TV6, he performed news, weather, sports, and advertising assignments and became one of the most well known voices in early local television. Intending to pursue a career in radio, he and TV6 friend, Carl Pellonpaa, were looking to purchase a radio station. Following an interview with Northern Michigan University president, Edgar L. Harden, Bruce Turner’s career took a dramatic and historical change. He accepted the position of station manager at Public TV 13, helping found the public broadcasting station in the 1960’s. Under his leadership, the station became the largest closed-circuit television system in the U.S. for a while. Throughout the years, growth continued with new innovations, but Bruce’s main philosophy was to maintain “the family relationship” between the station and its viewers. He was a devoted broadcaster and one of the most recognizable faces and voices in local television. When he retired in June of 2019, following 56 years with NMU, he, in his characteristically humble way, gave much of the credit to “the excellent people who managed me.” He never forgot where he came from and with his ever present smile and positive attitude, was always thankful for the career he thoroughly enjoyed. In retirement, he continued working at home on his yard and serving his local congregation. He was known for his generosity with family and friends and was always willing to help. Twenty years ago, he and wife, Mary, took the trip of a lifetime, visiting the ancestral castle of the Turners in Scotland. His leisure activities included hiking, camping, fishing with friends and family, and building his own homes and assisting friends with building theirs. He served as chairman of the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters Programming Committee. Bruce was a member of the Marquette Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and faithfully served as an elder in the Kingdom Hall.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Mary F. Turner; daughters, Tamera Ann (Bill) Dupras, Terri Kay Turner, Tracy Lynn (Raphael) Bennett; sons, Trent Ethan Turner and Travis Morgan (Heather) Turner; his grandchildren, Tobias (Amy) Thomas, Stephanie (Troy) Vetort, Brett Turner, Phillip Turner, Oliver Bennett, Drake Bennett, Hudson Bennett, Kennedy Turner, and Tyson Turner; great-grandchildren, Waylon Thomas, Draco Vetort, and Waverly Vetort; his brothers, Brent A. (Arlene) Turner and Brian Lee (Jerri) Turner; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. In addition to his parents, Bruce was preceded in death by a son, Todd Bruce Turner; and a granddaughter, Jessica Drummond.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com