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American Patriotic 11


Donald Emory Turner

May 8, 1926 ~ December 5, 2018 (age 92)

Donald Emory Turner, 92, went to his heavenly home in the company of his family on Tuesday, December 5, 2018. Don grew up in Bradford, Illinois where he attended the local schools.  He joined the Naval Air on July 7, 1944 at the age of 18.  He was a navigator/gunner in a TBM Avenger during World War II.  He was shot down twice, and both times his battle ship, the Ticondoroga, picked him up along the Japan shoreline.  He was honorably discharged in June of 1946.

Don returned home to Bradford, IL and began work at his uncle’s Standard Gas station.  He met his true love in 1947, married, and enjoyed 71 wonderful years of marriage with his wife, Juanita (Nita).  They had four children together:  Conni, Craig, Cal, and Cindy. 

In 1952, Don purchased his own gas station in Bradford, Skelly Oil.  He later purchased a bulk plant, car wash, and an ice cream shop (which they named) the Big Dipper.  In 1957, he purchased school buses and owned and contracted them until he retired in 1993.  After twenty years of owning the Skelly Oil Station, he sold it and began selling Chevrolet automobiles.  After the owner retired and closed his business, Don began driving a Senior Citizen’s van.  He drove the van from 1977-1993.  This was his last job before he moved out west to Colorado with his wife, Nita.

Upon arriving in Canon City, CO in 1993, Don and Nita quickly began to know the townspeople by volunteering at the Welcome Center through the Chamber of Commerce.  They both also worked at the Royal Gorge Bridge where they made many friends.

Don later worked for Buffalo Joe Rafting Company as the bus driver.  He enjoyed interacting with the rafters and meeting people from all over the world. 

In July, 2016, Don and Nita moved to Loveland, CO.  They enjoyed two and a half years together meeting the friendly people of Loveland and enjoying their new surroundings. 

Don was always very active in community work and is a 73-year member of the American Legion.  He served as Commander of the post, county, and Sr. Vice Commander of the department.

Don has always been known for his happy and friendly demeanor, loving people, and for always having a song in his heart.

Don is survived by his wife Juanita (Nita); children Conni Hofmann (Dale) of Peoria, IL, Craig Turner (Arlene) of Stockton, CA,  Cal Turner (Mindy) of Colorado Springs, CO and Cindy Wederquist (John) of Evans, CO; as well as 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Inurnment with Military Honors will be held at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 10:15 A.M., Staging Area “C” with memorial services at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland at 12:30 P.M. following inurnment. A reception will be held at the Viegut Reception Center following the memorial service.

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