Lovell James Turner

Oct. 19, 1919 - Jul. 10, 2015

Date of Service: Jul. 23, 2015

Lovell James Turner

DECLO - Lovell James Turner, 95, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, July 10, 2015.

Born in Soda Springs, Idaho, Oct. 19, 1919, he became the second child in the Turner Family that would include eight children born to Alma Leslie Turner and Emma Venice Bigler. The family moved from their home in Lago, Idaho, to Harlem, Mont., in 1923. Lovell attended grade school and was a junior when the family returned to Declo where he finished high school and graduated in 1937. A basketball scholarship took him to Albion Normal, but the football team recruited him to play for them. While there as a student, he met the love of his life, Beth Wood. He was smitten, and even though the Dean of Students told Beth not to date Lovell, they were married Nov. 8, 1940, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

Lovell served in the Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas, for a couple of years. When World War II called, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in l944, and served in Okinawa arriving in the battle zone shortly after the invasion of the island. His wife and two young boys welcomed him home early in 1946.

Lovell and Beth purchased a farm north of Declo in 1947, and raised their family there. It was here that he spent his life farming, raising cattle, teaching his children to work, and enjoying the Snake River.

He began his career in education teaching at Burley Junior High School. The following year, he taught and coached at Declo High School for half a day and attended Southern Idaho College of Education to complete his degree in 1947. He then taught and coached at Declo High School until 1951. The whole family moved to Logan, Utah, for Lovell to complete his Master’s degree at Utah State University. The next 13 years found Lovell as principal at the Declo elementary and high schools. In 1965, Lovell was transferred to Burley Junior High School and Beth was his secretary. In 1973, the junior high school burned to the ground, so Lovell oversaw students in several schools of the district where they were relocated until a new school could be constructed. The new junior high school was completed in 1975 and Lovell continued as principal until 1980, when after 37 years of service in public schools, he retired when the 1980 ninth graders graduated.

Lovell enjoyed other pursuits during these years. He managed his farm where he grew potatoes, hay, and grain. He raised some fine horses and loved hunting, fishing, camping, and skiing. The KOA Campground, north of Declo, was a business venture Lovell started and completed. He loved to visit and spin his stories to all who came to camp or fish or swim.

Lovell was a master hunter who knew the Selway-Bitterroot area. He hunted there every fall for more than 30 years. His knowledge was sought by the Fish and Game departments when hunters were lost. He knew every inch of the area. Beth and Lovell spent many happy hours packing into the White Clouds and Sawtooth National Forest to fish and camp and sleep under the stars. He also spent many hours training oxen and took his teams to county and state fairs and historical celebrations. His motto was “work hard and then play hard” - and he taught his children to do the same.

Lovell was active in the LDS Church and served in many callings. He loved his children and grandchildren, but was most devoted to his wife, Beth, of 73 years.

Lovell was preceded in death by his wife; a son, J. Garth Turner; his parents; and his siblings, Blaine Turner, Max Turner, Venice Turner, Kenneth Turner, Carole Hess, and Bruce Turner; a daughter-in-law, Nilene Turner; a granddaughter, Cathy Turner; and a great-granddaughter, Mallory Monroe.

He is survived by his children, Gary (Glena) Turner of Burley, Dale Turner, Ron (Linda) Turner, and Joye (John) Simpson of Declo; 18 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; his brother, Alma (Joan) Turner of Declo; and sisters-in-law, Nell Turner of Burley, Mary Ann Turner of Washington, Utah, Lorna Turner of Burley, and Lila Turner of Boise; and one brother-in-law, Ray Hess of Declo. His “adopted” sons, Walter (Janna) Rose of Declo, Jack (Rhonda) Rose of Heber City, Utah, and Leonard Moon of Twin Falls, also survive.

The family expresses their appreciation to the staff at Minidoka Home Health & Hospice for the loving care they have provided.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 23, at the Declo LDS Stake Center, 213 W. Main St., in Declo, with Bishop Greg Osterhout officiating. Burial will be in the Declo Cemetery with military rites provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization.

Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Thursday at the church.

The family suggests memorials be directed to Minidoka Home Health & Hospice or to the LDS Church missionary fund.