Robert James Turner

November 15, 1921 ~ October 16, 2018 (age 96)
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Robert James Turner, age 96, of Reedsburg passed away at the Reedsburg Senior Life Center October 16, 2018, after a short illness.   Robert was born on November 15, 1921 in Iroquois County, Illinois, the son of James Craigmile Turner and Ruth Florence Swanstrom. 

Having grown up in a farming community during the Great Depression, Robert went on to graduate from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and from the University of Wisconsin with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Organic Chemistry. His college years were interrupted by 41 months in the US Army Signal Corps in WWII including deployment on Okinawa. He was discharged as a Captain in 1946.  He then was employed as a research scientist in American industry for 35 years. The last 30 he worked with the chemical division of the Morton Salt Company from whence he retired as Director of Research in 1986.  He has several industrial patents registered to his name and received acknowledgement from the federal government for his novel work on chemical dyes that prevented the theft of military fuel during the Viet Nam War.            

Golf, genealogy, and playing bridge had been an important part of his retirement. He was a loyal member of the Reedsburg United Methodist Church and volunteered for 20 in local hospitals.  Robert, aka "Papa", rarely missed attending sporting events for his grandchildren in Reedsburg.  He was a permanent fixture on the sidelines and in the stands, even in the most bone chilling weather of the spring and fall.  Robert, being deeply committed to his spouse, was the sole caretaker for many years until Marie’s passing in 2017.  His family loved and respected him for his wit, wry sense of humor, intellectual brilliance, work ethic, and devotion to his family.

He was preceded in death by one brother Harold Craigmile Turner of Hemet, CA., and his wife of 70 years, Marie Colleen. 


He is survived by two sons, Dr. James C. (Nancy) Turner of Charlottesville, Va. and Dr. Robert Craig (Mary Beth) Turner of Reedsburg, WI, six grandsons, Robert James (Sarah) Turner of Woodbury, MN, Philip Joseph (Danielle) Turner of Owings Mills, MD., David Michael Turner of Minneapolis, MN., and Michael Craig (Erica) Turner of Menasha, WI., Robert Michael (Annie) Turner of Richmond, VA. and Eric James Turner of Boulder, CO.; two granddaughters, Elizabeth Colleen (Jason) Meyer of Reedsburg, WI. and Christine Marie (Douglas) Bledsoe of rural Maine, and 17 great grandchildren including Jack and Madeline Meyer of Reedsburg, WI, Grace, Whitney, Nora, and Amelia Turner of Woodbury, MN., Silvyn, Marie, and Skye Bledsoe of rural Maine, and Anna Margaret, Philip Joseph Jr.,  Winston, Daniel and Clementine Turner of Owings Mills, MD, and Silas, Theo and Libby Turner of Richmond, VA.

Funeral services for Robert James Turner will be conducted at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Reedsburg with Pastor Vicki Brantmeyer officiating. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 1:00 P.M. until the time of the service. Memorials to Reedsburg United Methodist Church or to Reedsburg Medical Center Foundation will be appreciated.

 The Farber Funeral Home, Reedsburg, is handling arrangements. 


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