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Michele Turner


1965 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Michele Turner Obituary
Michele Esther Turner

October 28, 1965 - September 26, 2016

On Monday morning, September 26th, with the sun rising and the birds singing, Michele Esther (Nelson) Turner, passed away in her sleep. Her last few days were spent in the family home in Palo Alto, lovingly cared for by family and closest friends, with her husband Scott and their daughters Mia and Emeline tenderly by her side. Her parents, sister, cousin and niece sang her lullabies.  Although a sudden, fast moving, invasive cancer had attacked her body, she embodied grace and beauty until the very end, remaining calm and fearless.  Above all, she was determined to make her passing as easy as possible for her beloved daughters. Michele, with her generous, loving heart and glowing spirit, was on this planet for just fifty years. 
Michele grew up in Palo Alto, California, graduated from Palo Alto High School and moved on to San Diego to study art and graphic design at San Diego State. She received her B.A. from San Jose State University and set off to travel before settling in the bay area. Michele met her husband and worked as a graphic designer in Santa Cruz, and then San Francisco for several years, where she and her family and friends built a very special community. Her home was most recently in Berkeley, California where she rediscovered her love of dance. She is co-founder of the Interactive Advertising Agency Traction and went on to write and develop her Penny Hike concept which encouraged people to trust in the unknown using something as simple as a penny. She also founded "Heist Life", marched her way in the San Francisco Drill team, and most recently co-founded the branding agency Ode where she and partner set off to "connect people to their higher selves". Michele incorporated her healing practice into her work, and in all ways she lived her life to the fullest, by her grandfather's words: "Keep your eye on the light."  Michele built a life around her family and precious community on both sides of the bay, and further afield.
Michele was an incredible mother of two beautiful girls and was a wonderful wife, daughter, sister, auntie, cousin and friend to all. She was a teacher, a healer, a lover, a poet, an artist, a graphic designer, a dancer and a "Penny Hiker."  Famous for her jambalaya, her amuse bouche creations and her extraordinary parties.  She was magical and a little bit mysterious, one who knew how to turn cocoons into butterflies.  She is survived by her husband Scott, their beloved daughters Mia and Emeline, her father Don "Smiley" her mother Lachen, half-brother Tom, sister Susan Tarka, step-sister Christy, step- brother Mike, nieces Sofia and Gioia, nephew Julian, cousin Debbie, dear friend Deborah Cohan, the Turner, Nelson and Ramelli families and a host of other close family and friends. Long ago, a stranger in the park said to her, "Stay Glorious." She was glorious, always, and she will remain glorious, forever and ever. Our beloved Michele.  There will be a New Orleans celebration of Michele's life for family and friends on October 30th at Fort Mason in San Francisco.
Michele's family wishes to thank the incredible friends and family who quickly and graciously provided much needed love, support, guidance and strength during these difficult months. In lieu of flowers, please help support Michele's girls and other kids who have lost a family member to cancer by donating to Camp Kesem. Or to the girls ScholarShare College Savings Plan by sending an email for details to [email protected]
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 28, 2016
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