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L. Turner Rufus

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Rufus Turner, a long time resident of Claremont, died at home on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at the age 85. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Elaine, children Terri Bonham (Tuck), Rebecca (Joanne) and Lee; grandchildren Tiffany Cleveland, Tyler Bonham (Jaclyn) and Atticus, as well as 5 great grandchildren; sister Carrie Ballard (Travis) and extended family in Texas and California who dearly loved him.

Rufus was born in Crockett, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in architecture and architectural construction. In 1956 when he was 27 his employer Adleta assigned him his first task: a job at the Mercantile National Bank complex in Dallas. Rufus worked with internationally respected California artist Millard Sheets, assisting in the installation of some of the most renowned mosaics produced in the nation.

Turner then moved his young family to California to work at the Sheets Studio in Claremont as an architect, and assisted on numerous projects including the dozens of Home Savings Banks spread around Southern California. His responsibilities at the Sheets Studio also included interiors, furnishings, remodels, and residential and commercial projects.

In 1964 he founded his own studio, Turner and Associates in Claremont, where he established a tradition of excellence in architecture and interior design. Over the past 50 years Rufus created a body of work that included residential, commercial and institutional projects. Rufus Turner A.I.A. received design awards from the cities of Claremont, Ontario, and La Verne, and the Alumni Association of the University of La Verne College of Law. He was recently honored by Claremont Heritage with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Rufus served on the Heritage Board.

Rufus served on the Board of Overseers of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and as a past President of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Architectural Commission, Foothill Business Association and Kiwanis.

Rufus was a southern gentleman who will be remembered for his hugs, hospitality, story telling and dependability. He was a humble man, with a good sense of humor, a positive outlook, a strong set of ethics, and pride in being a Texas Aggie. He was a generous mentor to countless young architectural students, interns and employees, consistently attracting a culturally diverse staff.

Over the past 17years, Rufus grew to love his vacation time in Kauai with family and friends, peaceful in the calm of the Island.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Rufus' many friends and colleagues for their support and encouragement during the past year.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Padua Hills Theatre in Claremont. A reception will follow. Contributions in his memory may be made to St. Mark's Episcopal School, Upland, CA, Claremont Heritage, or Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Mar. 16, 2014
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