Turner, Nell Hulse
May 10, 2022, age 91
MURTAUGH—Nell Smith Hulse Turner passed sweetly from this life on May 10, 2022, at the age of 91. She died in her Murtaugh home of 57 years, where she lived her final years with her oldest daughter and caregiver, Terri (Ron) Andersen. Nell’s life and family have been deeply planted in the Murtaugh school and community for over 60 years. Of the 124 members of her family, 51 still call Murtaugh home.
Born in Hansen, Idaho, on December 14, 1930, to Charles and Etta Smith, Nell was the youngest of 11 living children. The Great Depression, WWII, and a modest upbringing in a family-focused home gifted this young woman with caring, compassion, and a desire to teach children. So, after graduating from Hansen High School, Nell attended Southern Idaho College of Education in Albion, where she earned her first teaching credentials. As a cheerleader and beauty queen at this small teaching college, she caught the eye of Florin Hulse, a football and boxing standout on campus. After marrying (and a few high-school coaching and teaching jobs for Florin elsewhere), Florin and Nell brought their young family to Murtaugh in 1954. Once the youngest of Nell’s four children neared school age, Nell was finally able to begin teaching grade school. From 1962, until her retirement in 1999, nearly all Murtaugh youth spent their 1st grade year in the loving environment of Mrs. Hulse’s classroom. While continuing to teach, mother, and manage a home, Nell worked to complete her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Idaho State University in Pocatello, in 1967.
Spiritually, Nell decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Florin and Nell were sealed with their children in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1958. Between teaching, church assignments, a community bowling league, and building a tight community with so many other committed Murtaugh families, time flew by. Nell’s children graduated, married, went on LDS missions, got advanced degrees, and started supplying Nell with grandchildren. Tragically, Florin contracted cancer and passed away in 1984, at the age of 55. Nell continued on alone, teaching and transitioning to her growing role as a grandmother. During school vacations, she traveled frequently. She saw much of Asia and Europe, and visited Hawaii and the eastern U.S. several times over the years. Her travels were seen through the eyes of a master teacher that had a love of history, and she often gathered material to bring back to her home classroom.
Then, in 2001, Nell married Rufus Turner, a longtime Murtaugh friend who had also lost his spouse to illness. They enjoyed their new life together for seven years until Rufus’ death. She was embraced by the family and enjoyed being with them.
When the meek inherit the earth, Nell will be one of the first called forward. Obvious hobbies were children and teaching, but Nell also enjoyed painting and raising flowers. Over the years she watched hundreds of games, concerts and plays, always quick to compliment and acknowledge the family or community members she came to support.
Nell is survived by her children, Terri (Ron) Anderson of Murtaugh, Pat (Kevin) Anderson of St. George, Utah, Rick (Kim) Hulse of Twin Falls, and Grant (Jody) Hulse of Gilbert, Arizona. She is also survived by 25 grandchildren, 87 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her two husbands, Florin and Rufus; by all of her siblings; and one grandchild.
Nell leaves behind a legacy of kindness, humility and love of God and all mankind. She will be missed, but was ready for this change of scenery.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 23709 Hwy. 30, in Murtaugh, with Bishop Mark England of the Rock Creek Ward officiating. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Park in Twin Falls.
Family and friends will be received from 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Thursday, both times at the church.
A live webcast of the funeral will be available and maintained at rasmussenwilson.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Rasmussen-Wilson Funeral Home of Burley.
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