William James Turnock, founder of Sycan Springs Trout Farm near Beatty, died on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, from complications due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
He was born on Jan. 23, 1954, and the family moved in 1958 to Lake Oswego, where he graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1972. He attended Oregon State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in fisheries biology in 1976.
Through his service in the Peace Corps, Bill had an opportunity to learn and teach fish farming in Thailand for a year, which also established a lifelong love of spicy Thai cuisine. From 1979 to 1985, he worked in environmental consulting, both in Southeast Alaska and Northern California, and learned well the biology of Pacific salmon and trout.
Bill's real dream was to build a trout farm in Oregon and, after earning an MBA at Oregon State University, broke ground near Beatty in 1987 and established Sycan Springs Trout Farm. It was quickly a successful business that sold fresh trout to area resorts and Oregon stores and the product line was enhanced by adding smoked trout made with his personal recipe. He was a respected member of the Klamath Falls community and contributed directly to its economy.
In 1991, his health was compromised by melanoma that required multiple brain surgeries, which were performed at Merle West Medical Center. Bill was able to keep working until 1996 when he was forced by his health to close the farm. He moved back to Lake Oswego that year to be closer to his family and friends. The CLL diagnosis in 2008 was a difficult new challenge, but Bill, as always, dealt with it through his humor and positive energy.
Bill's surviving family include his father William K. Turnock and sister Mary Ann Turnock, both of Lake Oswego, and brothers Richard Turnock of Beaverton, Steve Turnock of Black Diamond, Wash., and Jack Turnock of Seattle, Wash.
Donations in Bill's name may be made to Angel Flight, which transported Bill from Klamath Falls to California for many experimental therapy sessions.
A private gathering to honor Bill will take place at the Lakewood Center for the Arts in Lake Oswego.