Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Mary Turner

Mary Turner. Courtesy photo.

Mary Elizabeth Turner (Best) was born in Morristown, N.J. on Feb. 1, 1927, to Walter E. Best and Agnes R. Best.

She was 95 when she passed away peacefully on May 13, 2022, in Santa Rosa, California.

Thomas W. Turner, her beloved husband, died in 2004.

She is survived by four children: Michael Turner, Mary Francis Boster, Mark Turner and Margaret Brown. She has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Mary was independent from an early age. Living in the backwash of the Depression years, she attended a one room school house until high school and lived in a house without electricity until the 1940s when the house burned to the ground.

Caught up in the excitement of the pharmaceutical innovations of the 1940s centered in New Jersey, Mary wanted to be a biochemist. Against her father’s will, Mary supported herself while attending Douglas College at Rutgers University. She earned her Bachelor of Science in zoology and bacteriology in 1948.

After marrying Tom and having her four children in five years, Mary was a mother par excellence to her children.

In addition to supporting her children in school and their interests, she and Tom continued their love affair with horses owning several, breeding and showing horses for over 40 years.

Mary did not return to education until the late 1960s. Having found herself drawn to English literature and, with enough credits from her bachelor’s degree to qualify for the master’s program, Mary attended Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. She obtained her master’s degree in English literature in June of 1968.

After a move from Arizona, where the family had lived for 20 years, to California, Mary found her way into librarianship. First as head librarian at a small town library and then moving to children’s librarian in Bakersfield, California.

Mary built a 20-year career in the library. There she developed her lifelong ability for storytelling into a master skill and added puppetry to her repertoire as she inspired children to read and love stories.

After retirement Mary and Tom moved to Lake County, California, and settled for 20 years in Lakeport. They were both active in St. John’s Episcopal Church, holding many positions of responsibility and respected and admired in the community.

She continued a lifelong love of creating, especially knitting and belonged to the Lake County Knitting Guild. She was also an accomplished needle worker, winning second place in the embroidery category at the California State Fair.

Mary moved to Brookdale Paulin Creek in Santa Rosa in 2010. She was active in the community, helping new residents as an ambassador, a leader in the knitting group and a good friend to all she came in touch with.

In 2021 she moved to Forestville, California, to live with her daughter’s family.

Mary believed there was goodness in everyone and she always tried to bring that out. Her quick intelligence, optimism and faith were the tools with which she navigated her life. These uplifting traits will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.

Mary’s funeral service is on Saturday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 209 Matheson St., Healdsburg, with a reception to follow.

Upcoming Calendar

16Aug
08.16.2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
17Aug
08.17.2022 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Western Region Town Hall
18Aug
08.18.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
20Aug
08.20.2022 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Yard sale to benefit Sponsoring Survivorship
20Aug
20Aug
08.20.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Weather and climate
20Aug
08.20.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
20Aug
08.20.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
20Aug
08.20.2022 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Taste of Lake County
23Aug
08.23.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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