Robert Paul Turner, 87, died Feb. 13 at Swedish Medical Center in Denver. No formal services are planned. Burial of cremains will be held at a later date at Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery.
Bob was born June 28, 1927, in Greybull, the youngest of four children born to Jay E. and Fern Cole Turner. He graduated from Greybull High School in 1945 and was proud to have been the editor of the school newspaper, “The Paintbrush,” for the 1944-45 school year.
When he turned 18 years old at the end of June, he was drafted into the United States Army and ordered to report to Ft. Logan, Colo., in early August. When Bob and the other draftees disembarked at Ft. Logan, a sergeant bellowed at them as he lined the fledgling soldiers up properly, then told them he had some news: an atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan earlier that day. Eight days later the Japanese surrendered and World War II was at an end. Thanks to the sacrifices by his fellow servicemen, after basic training Bob received a “plum” assignment when he was sent to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. to work in the motor pool. All his life he recalled with pleasure a trip along the beautiful Hudson River.
After his discharge from the Army, Bob enrolled at the University of Wyoming where he graduated with a degree in journalism in 1952. He then found employment as a staff writer at a newspaper in Saratoga, and later worked at KOVC Radio in Casper as a continuity writer and announcer from late 1952 until 1960.
Bob always remembered sharing his desk one morning with national newscaster Paul Harvey. While Mr. Harvey wrote his national newscast, Bob wrote up the local newscast. Then after Harvey broadcast his daily noon news report to millions of listeners, he turned the microphone over to Bob. Bob would chuckle and say, “I’d like to think that that day, instead of hundreds, I had several thousand listeners.”
He moved to Denver in 1960. After working briefly for a Denver radio station, he spent the remainder of his working career as a writer for financial companies, including Hamilton Funds and Financial Programs.
Bob loved writing limericks, as well as more serious poetry. He could always be relied upon to write appropriate lines for birthdays, anniversaries and retirements of friends and co-workers. He loved words in general and took many a newspaper and magazine editor to task for improper usage of the English language — a battle he waged tirelessly all his life. One of his most daunting tasks was when he proofread ”Glimpses of Greybull’s Past.” He was a voracious reader.
Bob was a devoted member of Divine Science Church in Denver.
When he retired from Financial Programs, which later became Invesco Financial Services, he wrote the following for the company newsletter, which he had edited for 12 years:
“I intend to start the new year as a WOOF, if only of minor proportions. What is a WOOF, you ask? Well, I am sure you are acquainted with the category known as YUPPIES. There are also DINKS (double-income, no kids); SWELLS (single women who earn lots and lots)…and then there’s the group to which I aspire – WOOF (well-off old fogy).”
Because he was generous to a fault, Bob Turner never accumulated much wealth, but he left a legacy of kindness that will be fondly remembered by those lucky enough to have known him. He also left a legacy of thoughtful, well-written letters, which he wrote weekly to his family and friends for many years. He will be missed.
He was a loving brother to his siblings, all of whom preceded him in death: Melba Turner Davis, Jay Olin Turner and Warren “Cub” Turner.
He is survived by two nieces, Pat Nixon of Tulsa, Okla., and Susan Summerfield of Chester, Pa., and three nephews, David Turner of Golden, Colo., Philip Davis of Oceano, Calif., and Tom Davis of Emblem.