Bruce Bigler Turner|
1932 - 2014
Bruce Bigler Turner, 81, of Eagle, Idaho, and formerly of Declo, Idaho, died peacefully with his wife by his side in his home at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, July 27, 2014, from heart disease.
Bruce was a man full of energy that always lived life to its fullest - from the time of his birth to his last days. He was born Oct. 8, 1932, to Alma Leslie and Venice Emma (Bigler) Turner in Harlem, Mont., and was welcomed into a loving home. He was the seventh child with five brothers and two sisters, and was a spirited and mischievous tyke from the day he was born!
At the age of 4, the family moved to Declo, Idaho, where Bruce grew up and spent nearly his entire life. He attended Declo Elementary, Junior and Senior High School, and graduated in 1951. He was a challenge to his teachers, but they loved him dearly - so much so that his first grade teacher kept him for two years!
Bruce had a great love of sports from an early age. He played football and basketball through high school and into college, where he always claimed (with a grin on his face) to be the "star player!" He attended Utah State University for a short while and was then recruited to play ball for Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, for nearly two years. His love for sports took many different avenues including snow skiing, water skiing, fishing, hunting, horse racing and golf. He refereed basketball for many years and continued to enjoy sports through watching his children and grandchildren play. Bruce not only enjoyed sports, but also loved to dance. He could do the jitterbug with his wife, Lila, like no other!
Upon receiving his draft notice, Bruce immediately left college to join the United States Air Force and serve his country during the Korean Conflict as a flight engineer. While traveling from technical training in Wichita Falls, Texas, to his station in Reno, Nev., he met the future love of his life, Lila Harris, in a café in Burley, Idaho. After 12 glorious dates, they were married in Virginia City, Nev. on Jan. 2, 1954, and later were sealed in the Idaho Falls Idaho LDS Temple. Bruce was honorably discharged from the service to return home to assist his father-in-law on his farm and sheep operation.
Bruce knew the value of hard work and was also a bit of a risk-taker. He bought his first farm in 1956 and continued to grow his farming and ranching operation and engaged in other successful business endeavors. He was the recipient of several awards for his outstanding achievement as a farmer, including Ore-Ida's Top Potato Grower of the Year in 1977 and 1978 and Grand Farmer of the Year in 2007.
One of Bruce's favorite pastimes involved anything horses. He loved to ride on the ranch while taking care of his cattle and rode with the Cassia County Mounted Sheriff's Posse. He also raced chariots, and raised and raced numerous prize winning running quarter horses.
One of the highlights of Bruce's life was serving a mission from 2005-2006 for the LDS Church in Nauvoo, Ill. During his mission, he shared his faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ while driving a team of horses pulling a wagon full of curious visitors. He loved to tell his stories while working in the blacksmith shop and to anyone who would lend a listening ear! He grew to love performing, as well. He acted and sang in lead roles in "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" and "Sunset by the Mississippi." He particularly enjoyed singing a song about posterity, entitled "I Am My Own Grandpa" and continued to share his talent after his mission.
Bruce's greatest love was his family. He was happiest when surrounded by his siblings and their families, his seven children, 27 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren. He was known for his generosity, kindness, sense of humor, and honesty amongst his family and friends and will forever be remembered as a man with a huge heart. Bruce never met a stranger and could talk to a cedar post! He loved family vacations, traveling across country in his motor home, and seeing the world with his wife of 60 years. He visited Europe, Australia, the South Pacific Islands, and Africa to mention a few.
Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, Alma and Venice Turner; his sisters, Venice Turner and Carol Hess; his brothers, Blaine, Max, and Kenneth Turner; and his grandchildren, April Nield, Bekm Bacon, and Andrea Dawn Barendregt.
He is survived by his loving wife, Lila Harris Turner; his sons, Wayne (Julie) Turner, and LaMont (Stacy) Turner; his daughters, Shaunna (Dale) Williams, Susan (John) Darrington, Tamra Turner, Julie Turner, and Michelle (Robert) Kresge; 25 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Lovell Turner and Alma (Joan) Turner; and two sisters-in-law, Nell Turner and Maryann Turner.
The family would like to thank all the many teachers, friends, family, and church leaders that influenced Bruce's life and contributed to developing him into an amazing man, husband, and father, as well as the loving hands from Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care for their kindness and attentive care throughout this journey. Memorial contributions may be made to Opal Foundation at Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, 3557 E Overland Rd., Meridian, Idaho 83642.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at the Declo LDS Stake Center, 213 W. Main St., in Declo. Burial will be in the Gem Memorial Gardens in Burley, with military rites provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization.
Friends may call from 5 until 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Monday at the church.
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 31, 2014