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Ferman Leroy Turner Jr.

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BENNINGTON -- Ferman Leroy Turner Jr., 83, of North Street, died Saturday Aug. 23, 2003 at the Vermont Veterans Home where he had resided in past years. He was born in Boston, Mass., the son of Ferman Leroy and Bessie J. Williams Turner Sr. and came to Williamstown, Mass. as a child. He attended Williamstown schools and graduated Williamstown High School, class of 1939.

He was employed at the Gevaert Company in Williamstown until enlisting in the U.S. Army Coastal Artillery but was discharged due to an old injury.

He enlisted in the Canadian Royal Artillery in Montreal, in the spring of 1943 and served with the Canadian Royal Artillery until 1945 at the end of the war.

He returned to work at Gevaert’s and later worked 10 years as a chauffeur and gardener for the late Herbert Botsford family. In September 1961, he accepted a position as custodian at Mount Greylock Regional High School, a post he held until he retired in 1984, after 23 years of service.

He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown and The Richard A. Reuther Post 152 of Williamstown, where he was awarded life membership in 1982. He worked with the forest wardens and the Williamstown Fire Department.

He was a Revolutionary War buff and lectured to many on the subject in a class he called “Show and Tell.”

In the fall of 1992 he donated his home, a 200 year old house, to the Williamstown American Legion with the stipulation it be used for veterans’ housing. The house became known as the “Turner House” in his honor. It is dedicated to providing housing and serviced to homeless veterans.

He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Quinton (Betty) Green of Concord, Calif.; one niece, Mrs. Sandra Van Slyke also of California; and grand-nieces and cousins.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Sherman Burbank Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Penny Rich Smith, pastor of the Second Congregational Church, officiating.

Burial will follow with full military honors at Westlawn Cemetery.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Turner House through the George M. Hopkins funeral home 61-67 Spring St., P.O. Box 82, Williamstown, MA 01267, which is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 25, 2003
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