Phillip "Skip" Turner, age 70, of Mount Gilead, died unexpectedly Friday, December 6, 2013, at his residence, following a sudden illness.
On August 6, 1943, Skip was born in Columbus, Ohio, and was raised in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, the son of Neva Anderson Turner and the late Fred Turner. Skip graduated from Mechanicsburg High School in the class of 1960, where he excelled in football.
After High School, Skip was married, enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army, had three children; Dean, Shannon and Robin. He served from 1964-1967, with the majority of his time being spent in Germany and Vietnam.
Upon his honorable discharge, Skip returned home and began working at International Harvester, now Navistar, as a welder and truck assembler for the next 10 years.
On November 5, 1977, Skip married Marilyn Bardo, in Springfield, Ohio. Marilyn became a stepmother to his three children and they had a daughter together, Elizabeth Sarah "Beth" Turner. Skip was thrilled to be a fully active father to Beth and spoiled her every chance he got. They moved as a family to a farm in Mount Gilead in 1989, to be nearer to Marilyn's family. Skip loved the land and enjoyed hunting, cutting wood and gardening in the years to come.
For the next many years he worked construction with several companies, including Tradesman Company. He was a very talented builder and used those skills with many family members and friends to help build homes, decks, barns and repair roofs throughout the years.
Skip and Marilyn decided to foster children in Morrow County and opened their home to troubled teens; Shawn, Terri, Rob and James. Skip's black and white rules and Marilyn's unconditional love made a perfect family for those kids. They then adopted J.W. at the age of 12 years in 1997.
When not working construction, Skip used his gift of gab to sell cars at Carriage Towne in Delaware and Terry Mowery Motors in Edison. He also loved going to flea markets and swap meets and gun and knife shows where he could buy and sell the best deals. He made many dear friends at these events.
Quite the story teller, Skip loved to tell about his many life experiences to anyone and everyone he encountered. Also a jokester, Skip loved to keep you guessing whether he was telling you the truth or just pulling your chain.
A motorcycle enthusiast, Skip designed and helped fabricate a Honda motorcycle that won countless trophies and awards at various motorcycle shows he attended. His motorcycle even was displayed in several magazines.
Despite his large presence and gruff exterior, anyone who knew Skip knew he had a heart of gold. Most important of all to Skip was his family and grandchildren. They were his crowning achievement. He loved attending all of their events and bragged about them to anyone who would listen.
Since its opening in 2008, Skip served the community as a volunteer and mentor at the Morrow County YMCA, now the Morrow County Community Center, where he dedicated hundreds of hours of his time. At 4:30 a.m. every day, he opened their doors for the people of this community. In 2009, he was honored to receive their volunteer of the year award. He enjoyed this role immensely and was very proud of it.
Skip will be dearly missed by his wife, Marilyn Turner of Mount Gilead; five children: Dean (Pam) Turner of West Liberty, OH, Shannon (Apryl) Turner of Powderhorn, CO, Robin (Tom) Salyers of Urbana, OH, Beth (Bob) Fitzpatrick of Mount Gilead, and Jordan "J.W." Turner of Mansfield, OH; mother, Neva Turner of Mechanicsburg, OH; eight grandchildren: Vanessa (Matt) Lockwood, Josh Turner, Nikki and Tiffany Salyers, Madison, Turner and Rowan Fitzpatrick, Teagan Turner; five great grandchildren: Halana and Triton Turner, Hayden, Zaylor, and Markus Rogan; father-in-law Clair Bardo of Mount Gilead; sister-in-law, Suzanne (Guy) Cornish of Edison, OH; and brother-in-law, Michael (Judith) Bardo of Bradford, OH.
Including his father, Skip was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Alice Bardo.
A memorial service honoring Skip's life will be held at Noon on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel. 67 North Main Street, Mount Gilead, OH, with Pastor Gary Lamb-Hart officiating. His family will greet friends immediately before his services. Following his services, military honors will be provided by active duty, AMVETS Post 87 and VFW Post 8054 at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made in honor of Skip to the Morrow County Community Center and can be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to serve Skip's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.