Ronald Hudson Turner was born in Salmon Arm on August 16. 1913. He died after a short illness in the Shuswap Lake Hospital on December 9, 2013 at the age of 100 years and 115 days.
Ronald (Ronnie) was the third of four children born to Robert and Maude (McGuire) Turner. Edward ,Marjorie and Alexander (Sandy) all predeceased him. The mother of his children, June Johnson (Gillis) died in December, 1999. Left to enjoy the wonderful memories of this amazing man are his children, Robert & (Evelyn) (Stewart), Glenna &(Gary Thors), and Janice & (John Grave)., three grandchildren, Michael , Michelle and Shannon and three great grandchildren, Hayden, Emily and Malaya. He is also survived by life long friend, Norah McDiamid and will be missed by nieces, Patricia, Jennifer, Pat and Teresa and their families who made regular trips from afar to visit him He was one of the two remaining grandsons of Sarah Agnes Hudson and Alexander McGuire. Cousin, George McGuire at 98 years, lives in Victoria.
Ronnie was born into a home located where the Service B.C. building currently sits, amongst a growing orchard started by his father in 1896. Including the time he was going to school, he spent thirty years working for his father’s company, R. Turner & Sons. It would have been much longer had it not been for the bitter winter of 1949/50 commonly known as the “Big Freeze” which hit the Shuswap orchardists very hard. In 1953 Ronnie left his fathers dream behind him and started a new chapter in his own life. He became employed by the B.C. Dept. of Hwys in a career that would take him to his retirement in 1975. During his tenure with the Dept. of Hwys. he worked in Vernon, Revelstoke ( Rogers Pass) and then to the Fraser Canyon where he stayed for a number of years. In 1964 he was moved to Campbell River and then Gold River where he loved to go fishing in Nootka Sound. Lake Cowichan was the next stop and then back to the mainland to Honeymoon Creek and finally Langley. Wherever he ended up, he took an intense interest in the local history. After his mother, Maude died in 1978, Ronnie moved back to Salmon Arm into the house they had built for her 25 years before. He started planting fruit trees again and was soon back to what he loved best, tending to his little orchard. He was fondly referred to as “the Plum Man”. Nothing fancy; weigh your fruit on a 100 year old scale, put your money in an old tobacco can. This carried on right up until the last Italian prune plum was picked for the season 2013.
Ronnie loved to travel and he managed to touch down on every continent but Antartica. His last trip was in 1996 back to his father’s homeland, Northern Ireland. With only a postcard sent to his family some 90 before from his uncle to go by, he and daughter Glenna, set off to the old country to seek out any relatives that might be still alive there. With very little trouble (thanks to the postcard) they were able to locate his Uncles’ son, another Robert Turner. The lines of communication between the families remains today.
In addition to traveling to far away lands, Ronnie enjoyed hiking, fishing, reading and stamp collecting. He made enough jam and jelly from his own fruit to keep all his family supplied and anyone else who happened to be there. He loved to have his grandchildren around and taught them to play crib at a very early age. There was never a family gather without the crib board appearing. The terms “Morgan’s Orchard ( two pair) and “You couldn’t stack hay” will ring on in our family for ever.
Ronnie’s Celebration of Life was held at Bowers Funeral Chapel on Saturday December 14, 2013, interment took place at Mount Ida Cemetery.
Email condolences may be sent through Ronnie’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com