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Marion O. Turner

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Marion Orville (M.O.) Turner died at home on Aug. 24, 2007. Born the fourth of five sons on Sept. 4, 1923, in Magnolia, Texas, to Mary Ada and Richard Jay Turner, he was 83 years old. As a boy, he was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church, Houston. After attending Houston public schools, Mo served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, from 1941-44 on the destroyer USS Buck DD-420 and the sub chaser USS SC-697 in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and in 1945 on the submarine USS Redfin SS-272, offshore Nagasaki and the Japanese home islands. In 1947, he married the former Margaret Ann Collins, whom he met on a blind date. After graduating from the Univ. of Houston in 1948, Mo was employed as a petroleum geologist by Stanolind Oil & Gas (now Amoco) in Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. He began a consulting practice in San Antonio in 1954, and later become a determined yet winsome South Texas wildcatter and independent producer. Mo was elected an honorary member of the South Texas Geological Society, the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologist. He received the Distinguish Service Award from the AAPG (1981) and was an Emeritus Member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. For the year 1985, the American Institute of Professional Geologists awarded Mo the prestigious Ben H. Parker Memorial Medal. Mo served in various civic organizations, including in 1967 a term as president of Bexar Kiwanis. He was a devoted member of Alamo Heights Baptist Church, serving 10 years as a Sunday School teacher and another 10 years as a deacon. Beginning in the late 1950s, Mo became active in various Republican Party leadership roles on the Bexar County, state and national levels. In 2 of 3 class action suits, he and long time friend Van Henry Archer were successful in an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court against the State of Texas for political discrimination in its 1971 congressional redistricting. During the 1970s and '80s, Mo was a leader in the San Antonio and Texas Right to Life organizations, arranging testimony before the state legislature and developing close local friendships. Among these was a friendship with the Rev. John A. Leies, SM, who received Mo into the Catholic Church on April 12, 2007. Mo was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Richard L. Turner, Gilbert D. Turner, and R.J. Turner. Mo is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years Margaret Ann; their daughter Kathleen Margaret Willoughby, her husband Lee, and grandchildren Adam and April (Sacramento, Calif.); son the Rev. Timothy J. Turner and his wife Elizabeth (San Antonio); brother Jerry Wilson Turner and his wife Barbara (Nipomo, Calif.); and numerous nieces and nephews. The family thanks the staff at both the Cancer Care Center and Vitas Hospice for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of one's choice. Visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m., on Monday, August 27, 2007 in Sunset Funeral Home, with a Vigil Services at 7:00 p.m. Mass will be offered at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 28, 2007, St. Matthew Catholic Church, 10703 Wurzbach Rd., with the Rev. John A. Leies, SM, presiding. A private burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park. Sunset Funeral Home.

Published in Express-News on Aug. 26, 2007
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