John T. Turner

Passed March 9, 2024

 

Last updated 3/22/2024 at 12:32pm

John T. Turner of Sisters left this life on March 9, 2024. He was 99 years old. Born in Sayre, Arkansas, on January 5, 1925, to Albert and Effie (Machen) Turner. He attended public schools in Casa Grande, Arizona, graduating high school in 1943. He graduated from Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

He joined the military at 17, serving in Europe with the Eighth Air Force, flying combat missions in a B-17 during World WarII. He served with the 378th Bombardment Group in England, and was shot down twice over France. He married Barbara Smith in 1945.

He transferred to the U.S. Army in 1947. Ten years of his career were spent overseas and included two tours in Korea. As a Captain he attended the Army Language School in Monterey, where he studied Mandarin Chinese. He later was assigned to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he translated the short course curriculum and later taught the course to 26 Chinese generals.

His senior positions included Chief of Staff of a Logistical Command in Europe; Inspector General of the U.S. Army in Alaska, Commander of the Garrison at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and Chief of Staff of the Ordinance Center and School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He retired as a Colonel in 1975.

Outside of his military and family duties, he was a Thirty-Second Degree Mason, active in the Scottish Rite and in the Shrine. He was Past Master, District Deputy of the Grand Master, Grand Lecturer of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Oregon, and he was an honorary Past Grand Master.

He was a lover of books and music and was an amateur old-time fiddler. He was an avid reader and a student of history. He enjoyed words. He often said that the two most beautiful words in the English language are "integrity" and "civility," and, excepting the usual human frailties, he endeavored to live by both. He was tolerant in many ways, but admittedly, not in all. He believed it was courteous to wear one's hat only when outside.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 78 years, Barbara, daughters Margaret Greer and Meredith Kellogg (David), son Mark Turner (Janet), 3 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, and 5 great-grandchildren, as well as dear family friends. He was predeceased by son John Michael, who died in Vietnam. A memorial service will be held at a later date, and inurnment will be at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

 

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