Kenneth John Turner
Burley, Idaho – Kenneth John Turner, our beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at the Cassia Regional Medical Center in Burley, at the age of 85.
Kenneth was born on Aug. 2, 1927, in Harlem, Mont., the son of Alma Leslie and Venice Emma (Bigler) Turner. He was the 5th child in a family of eight. He spent his early years in Montana, later moving to Declo, Idaho, where his father farmed. Kenneth was a very active young man playing all sports – especially excelling in basketball. He and his five brothers formed an outlaw basketball team, playing in local tournaments. They were legends in their own minds and the older they got, the better they were.
Kenneth joined the United States Navy at age 17 during World War II, and served on various LST ships in the Pacific, seeing lots of the islands and spending time in the occupied forces in Japan. When the war ended, he returned to Declo and finished his last year of high school, graduating in 1947. He bought a 1948 Indian motorcycle, much to the thrill of his mother, and loved to ride standing up holding on to the windshield. Kenneth met the love of his life, Lorna Frost, at the Y-Dell ballroom in April of 1947, and married her on Oct. 16, 1947, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. He started college in January of 1948, at Albion State Normal, thus prompting the selling of his motorcycle. After graduation, his first job was teaching at a two-room school south of Filer, where he taught 5th - 7th grades. He then taught at Filer High School teaching Ag Science. He also taught PE and coached basketball and football. He worked two summers at a service station between Wendover and Salt Lake City, in a snake-infested desert. In 1954, they moved to Burley where he began teaching at Burley Junior High, teaching health, PE and math, and coaching 9th grade basketball. During the summers, he worked various jobs, from managing the Burley swimming pool to transporting government houses from Mountain Home to Provo, Utah. In 1955, Kenneth and Lorna, along with his parents, opened the Fabric Center in Burley, which they operated for 29 years. They enjoyed building floats for the Cassia County Fair parade for their store. Dad became quite proficient at sewing on Bernina sewing machines, which they sold in their store for a few years.
Dad bought his in-law’s farm in Unity in 1957, where the family lived until 1963, when dad built their home overlooking the beautiful Snake River, doing most of the work himself. Dad farmed and taught school. The family spent many enjoyable summers camping and fishing at Yellowstone, Henry’s Lake, and Island Park. Dad also loved to go hunting, especially elk and deer, while riding his buckskin horse. The family also spent many days water skiing on the Snake River after a hard day’s work on the farm. Dad was a hard worker but also loved to play and taught his children the same.
After 39 years of teaching school and farming, Kenneth retired and he and Lorna spent many years traveling and spending winters in St. George, Utah, and Yuma and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kenneth was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many positions including: Scout Master, Young Men president, High Priest Group leader and in the bishopric. Together, mom and dad served a mission in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1994-1995, where they touched many lives and made lifelong friends. They also served as temple workers in the Logan Utah LDS Temple for 3½ years. Their dedicated service in the church has set a wonderful example for their family.
Although dad suffered for many years with some physical problems, he was always very positive and rarely complained. He had an amazing sense of humor and his family loved him dearly. He will be missed!
Kenneth is survived by his wife and eternal companion, Lorna Turner of Burley; five children and their spouses, Darla and Bruce Burtenshaw of Rupert, Kenneth and Angie Turner and Roger and LeeAnn Turner all of Burley, Stan and Darcel Turner of Eagle, Idaho, Brad and Raquel Turner of Kimberly; 30 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Lovell (Beth) Turner of Declo, Bruce (Lila) Turner of Eagle, and Alma (Joan) Turner of Declo; and two sisters-in-law, Nell Turner of Burley, and Maryann Turner of Washington, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Venice Turner and Carol Turner Hess; and two brothers, Blaine Turner and Max Turner.
The funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Burley LDS 2nd and 4th Ward Church, 515 E. 16th St., in Burley, with Bishop Kenneth R. Turner officiating. Military rites will be provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization. Burial will be in the Declo Cemetery.
Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the church.