Obituary of James Ronald Turner
Ron Turner, 86, St. Catharines, Ontario, passed away on May 7, 2020, with loving family present. James Ronald Turner was born to Alfred and Hazel (Cascadden) Turner, on June 26, 1933, in Walkerville, Ontario. In 1956, he married Laurie (Lorraine Heisler) - the love of his life - who survives him. Ron is also survived by: brother Dick; children: Jay (Jenny), Laurie Ann (Doug), Scott (Lisa), Tracy (Ted), Mary Jo (Rob); grandchildren: Sean, Jaryd (Roxanne), Jasmine, Connor, Chris (Ashley), Kim, Bob (Casandra), Olivia (Alex), Ben, Tim, Andy (Kristina); great-grandchildren Carter, Jaymes, Gavin, and another expected in June; and numerous nieces and nephews. Ron was predeceased by parents Alfred and Hazel and brothers Walter and Doug. Ron attended Kennedy C.I. and W.D. Howe High Schools in Windsor, Ontario. Soon after graduation he began a career in policing. After marrying he and Laurie settled in Sarnia Ontario. Ron retired from the Sarnia Police Force with 30 years service as a forensic specialist with the rank of Sargent. He was the recipient of numerous commendations. After retirement, he and Laurie made their home in St. Catharines, Ontario. Ron was an accomplished artist having an early second career as a professional cartoonist. He had a witty sense of humor and was loved for his "Grandpa jokes". He was a kind man, who treated everyone with respect. Ron was known for his love of sport and was an accomplished coach and athlete. He played many sports including football, basketball, baseball and broomball. As a Bantam his team won the Ontario collegiate basketball championship in 1947-48. He was competitive in track and field in his youth. Ron competed in countless running and walking races throughout his life time, including marathons and ultra marathons. He set a number of Ontario and Canadian age group records in race-walking. Ron was an avid hiker with a love of nature which he shared with Laurie, his family and friends. He and Laurie were members of the Bruce Trail Association and have hiked the entire trail end to end with friends Stu and Audie. Ron's family would like to thank the incredible staff at Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital in St. Catharines for the dignified and compassionate care he received during this challenging time. Arrangements have been entrusted to GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL CHAPEL, 585 Carlton St. St. Catharines, Ont. A private memorial service will be held followed by burial at Victoria Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in support of Cancer Research or Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital in St. Catharines. On-Line Guest-Book at www.georgedartefuneralhome.com
As difficult as it is, I have the honor and privilege today to speak about James Ronald Turner.
Father in law,
Brother in Law,
The love of my Mother's life,
There is a poem that has been hanging on the wall in our home in London for many years. I would like to start by reading it. It's about Character:
The circumstances amid which you live determine your Reputation
The truth you believe determines your Character
Your reputation is learned in an hour;
Your character is built in a lifetime
Reputation is what you are supposed to be;
Character is what you are
Reputation makes you rich or makes you poor;
Character makes you happy or makes you miserable
Reputation is what men say about you on your tombstone;
Character is what the angels say about you before the throne of God
Dad had a enviable reputation. He was hard working, principled, honest and amiable. He excelled at many things. He was artistically gifted. He won many athletic awards. He was commended on numerous occasions for his performance in his profession as a forensic specialist. He was an athletics organizer, a successful trainer and coach. People respected him for these and many, many other things. He loved his family deeply and was fiercely proud of all of us. Dad has an admirable reputation. These are special qualities for sure, but what really made James Ronald Turner special was his Character. You see, Dad had a special gift for connecting with people. I know that personally - yet as I reflect and look back on Dad's life and read stories from so many others these past few days, I have realised how special this gift really was - or I should say - is. Dad connected with each of us in a private, quiet, unassuming way. He truly listened and was present to hear us: Our heartaches and fears, our hopes and dreams, our ideas, musings and our deepest thoughts. He did not impose advice, but instead offered encouragement and objectivity. He guided us, but let us make our own decisions. He would hold us accountable, but regardless of the outcome he loved us unconditionally. One may expect this in immediate family but Dad's humility and his humanity extended to all people.This includes extended family of all generations, Those who married into our family, our friends growing up, he and Mom's friends, his work associates, athletes he trained, kids he coached, casual acquaintances and to be frank - criminals.You see Dad saw and experienced some bad stuff as a cop... some really bad stuff and, although this took a toll on him personally, he somehow managed to maintain his faith in humanity. Dad did not judge. That was not his place. He treated all people with dignity. Although Dad is no longer with us physically his spirit and legacy lives on in all of us... and every person he influenced in his positive way. Like the ripples from each drop of rain on a pond, Dad's character resonates in all of us. His character reverberates in all the people he touched ...and by extension, if we choose, our own individual circles of influence. He has left a precious afterglow. One of Dad's favorite songs is "What a Wonderful World" Our world...actually this world, is more wonderful because he was in it!
Following are some examples of the memories that have been shared of the way that Dad touched us all, that I have received over the past few days. The list was too long to share everything and I have not named names, but you will recognise some anecdotes you sent along. Some are very personal and some are universal:
-I'll never forget making Inukshuk's with Grandpa on Boulder Beach.
-Ron was the very best brother-in-law one could have and he got to practice being a daddy on me. He loved my sister Laurie and he loved his kids deeply. They along with all of the family are now blessed with the precious memories he leaves behind.
-I have very fond memories of Uncle Ron from my childhood and times spent at the family home in Sarnia.
-You must feel very proud to be his child. He’s certainly left a fine footprint in this world.
-Memory of a man who was so proud of his family - who wasn't afraid to show his love and always expected the best from his children. Which he got. Hugs to all of you.
-Your dad was amazing - so many good memories of him during the Ultra runs!!!
-The world lost a great, great man. I’ll never forget our walks around the lake, hearing stories about being a cop back in the day... a photographer, a cartoonist...I’m happy to say I picked up a few of his traits and hope to do them justice throughout my own life.
-Love you Grandpa and will always miss you! I'll miss losing to you in 6 carded crib!
-I'll miss walking with him all around the places and will miss having candy in the car. He was always in the front seat so he always got however much he wanted. He will be forever missed by me. I Love him so MUCH! May you always look down on me from heaven! I'll miss you Grandpa.
-Dad loved when I'd practise for my lessons usually while Mom was at church in the morning. No matter what other pieces I had to prep for, I had to sing "What a Wonderful World" every time.
-I'll always remember Grandpa as a man who lived for the summer Olympics.
-We enjoyed long walks, while reminiscing about his past as an athlete and an officer. Telling me stories I was probably too young to hear at the time, but loved with my whole entire heart. I always looked up to him for that.
-A grandfather and a well respected man of few, yet highly important words that always had you listening. Speaking only when he had something to say, and listening intently to you when he didn’t. And for that, I’ll always hold him close to my heart.”
-I loved your Dad. I’m sitting thinking about when I would come spend a week with you all and your dad would chase us around the yard. The free zone was that electric box out front. Being the oldest of all my cousins I have so many happy memories.
-Discussing art and meditation and his encouragement to practice, practice, practice. He made it clear that getting better was only possible with practice. He gifted me a small art set with some books for inspiration.
-Ron worked his whole career as a police officer. Walking the beat he had to be tough but he was the gentlest man I knew. I can't remember ever hearing a complaint from him...except perhaps about the lack of ice cream.
Ron, you always made me feel loved, like I was your own daughter. You always made me feel comfortable, even if that meant giving me your favourite over-sized hockey jersey because I didn't have any maternity clothes yet.
-Drawing faces onto painted rocks and getting to take home some of our favourites that he had made.
-Running the Niagara Falls 5k race years ago with both Dad and Grandpa think I was 13 years old. Before the race he encouraged me and told me I would do well. At the end stretch I was definitely running my hardest to make him proud!
-I'm so grateful for the many Christmases, hikes, camping trips and of course for the late night chats about life and the universe. Thank you for everything Grandpa, we will miss you dearly."
-Fond memories - Going to see the Christmas lights at the Falls every year.
-Spending the day in Haliburton relaxing at the finish line and going for walks while we waited for Dad to finish the race.
-So many ice cream cones!
-And of course driving up to the Look Out in Haliburton each year before we would leave.
-You teaching me how to look for 4 leaf clovers, You were so good at finding them.
-Strolls in the park across the street from your condo.
-Listening to his many police/forensics stories over the years. I remember one in particular where he was ng that he was the only member at his station who did not have any problems working with a black colleague. I believe he scolded the prejudiced staff but I can't remember all the details. He was demonstrating to me that racism is not acceptable and since that conversation I have always carried this with me through life.
-So many summer days at Canatara or Ipperwash beach. Days that we wished would never end.
-Many years of family picnics and hikes at the Archie Campbell conservation area after the Watford road race.
-Going on a bird watching walk with Roxy and Grandpa in the park at port Dalhousie. He was our guide and pointed out my very first Orchard Oriole!
-Having Grandpa and Grandma watch my hockey games in London and at out of town tournaments. It was so great to know he was there quietly supporting me.
-I remember your Dad well at the kids hockey games. A calm presence.
And now - back to where I started, Dad's Character " Character is what the angels say about you before the throne of God". I know those angles have a lot of good to say about James Ronald Turner
Father in law,
Brother in Law,
The love of my Mother's life,
May you rest in peace in the loving arms of our creator - free from the pain of this world.
This is not good-bye but see you later.
"When we meet again on down the road we'll share our love and we all will know it's our eternal afterglow."
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