Robert E. |
Turkleson, 93, passed away Saturday, December 21, 2013, at his home in Lumberton following a lengthy illness.
Robert is survived by his wife, Ella Maudette Lusk Turkleson; two daughters, Mary Ellen Rouen and her husband, Michael, of Houston and Dr. Peggy Turkleson of Montgomery, Alabama; son, Don Turkleson and his wife, Deborah, of Houston; stepson, Frank Lusk and his wife, Elaine, of Sour Lake; eighteen grandchildren; and twenty-three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Geraldine Marie Giffin Turkleson; daughter, Sharon Ann Eckelkamp; son, Joseph Turkleson; and infant daughter; stepsons, Wayne Lusk and James Lusk; and two sisters, Mary Rose Lott and Frances Helen Cox.
Robert was born October 18, 1920, to Clarence and Johanna Gallagher Turkleson on the family farm in Doniphan County, Kansas. He attended Kansas State University. His university education was interrupted by World War II when he served his country in the Army under General Patton in the 489th AAA in France, Germany and Central Europe. He was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and a distinguished unit badge. He was discharged from active duty as a Major and returned home to Kansas to complete his degree in chemical engineering. Robert served in the Army Reserves from 1946 until 1980 achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1946, Robert moved to Beaumont to begin his career at The Magnolia Petroleum Company as a junior process engineer. After the company merged with Socony Mobil, Robert transferred to the new Mobil Chemical plant in 1960 to become the manager of the production department. He was promoted to general manager of the Mobil Chemical complex in 1966 and held that position until 1975 when he was transferred to the Houston office for a promotion to manager of administration. He retired from Mobil Chemical in 1980.
Community service was important to Robert. He served on the boards of the Beaumont Council on Alcoholism, The Boy Scouts of America, The Salvation Army and The Regents' Development Council of Lamar State College of Technology. He worked on the United Appeals campaign in 1964 and then served as a campaign division chairman for several years. In 1973, Robert served as the chairman of the United Appeals Campaign. He served on the Zaharias Memorial Fund Drive and the Schlesinger's Campaign Fund. Robert was a member of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and a representative to the Texas Chemical Council. He served on the Board of Directors of First Security National Bank. Robert was a member of St. Pius X Parish Board and the Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School Board. During retirement, Robert served as a volunteer fireman for the Toledo Village Volunteer Fire Department. In 1995 he was appointed Commissioner of the Toledo Bend Fire District. He was also a lifetime member of the Toledo Village VFW Post #8557, serving as commander of the Post for four years.
Robert was a loving husband, father and grandfather; a friendly, helpful neighbor; a devoted and faithful parishioner; a loyal employee; and a concerned and patriotic citizen.
A gathering of Mr. Turkleson's family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with a Christian Vigil at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, December 26, 2013, at Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, December 27, 2013, at Infant Jesus Catholic Church, 243 South L.H.S Drive, Lumberton, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Infant Jesus Catholic Church, 243 South L.H.S. Drive, Lumberton, Texas 77657; VFW Post #8557, 119 South Evergreen, Burkeville, Texas 75932; or to a
Complete and updated information may be found at www.broussards1889.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Dec. 24, 2013