*Whenever possible, the obituaries of Kiltie Alumni will be posted. It is important to remember those who marched before us.*
Jean Louise Turner
Jean Louise Turner was born August 17, 1915, and died Thursday, May 12, 2016 in her home at the age of 100. She was a Springfield native, the only child of Jewel and Jesse E Smith.
She attended Central High School, and was proud to play the bugle as a Kiltie for 3 years in Richie Robertson’s Scotch Drum and Bugle Corps, Springfield’s first one.
She attended State Teacher’s College, now known as Missouri State University, and was a member of the Alpha Beta Zeta Club, and later became a charter member of The Missouri University chapter of Alpha Delta Pi National Sorority. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she taught school before marrying Meredith B. Turner. Married teachers were not allowed to be full time teachers in those days, but could substitute, which she did.
Jean was a charter member and first Worthy Advisor of Rainbow for Girls, a charter member and former past president of the Ozark Belles chapter of Sweet Adelines, and a member of the three times medalist Versa-Tones Quartet. She was a charter member of the Civic Aires, and won a war bond in a city-wide contest for naming it. She was Membership Chairman of the Community Concerts Series for many years, and served on the SMS Alumni Board and was a member of the music department of Sorosis. She was a long time member of the Little Theater Guild, and twice received the Theater’s Frannie Award for outstanding service to the theater. She sang in 13 Little Theater musical productions, and also La Boheme, the first opera, after which the Guild was formed. In 1964 she received the Chamber of Commerce Woman of Culture Award.
In earlier years, Jean was an avid golfer and square dancer, winning trophies in both. As a member of the Ozark Sashayers champion square dance set, she and her husband performed at the Shrine Mosque for President Truman, who presented them with a large trophy, and Ronald Reagan, who was in town to advertise a movie.
Jean Turner was well known in and around Springfield for her soprano voice, and appeared throughout the city and county with her musical parents on countless programs of all sorts. Her mother, Jewel, was the piano player and orchestra leader for the silent movies in downtown Springfield theaters, and her father, Jesse, played the drums in the orchestra. Jean remembered sitting on the piano bench with her mother at the silent movies. Her father was also a talented trumpet and violin player.
She was a devoted lifelong member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, and member and past president of the Wedding Ring class, which became the Wesley class. Jean was a faithful member and soloist in the choir, and was the founder of the Cover Girls quilting group and the Bus Ministry.
Jean was an enthusiastic St. Louis Cardinals and Lady Bears fan. Her hobbies included arrowhead hunting and metal detecting. She owned the first metal detector in Springfield, and was occasionally called on to assist the police in investigations. In her latter years she enjoyed and was deeply involved in the LIFT program (Learning Is Fun Together), Knitting for Newborns in Need, and Crosslines.
After 53 wonderful years together, her husband, Meredith Bertram Turner, a member of the law firm of Turner, Reid, Duncan, Loomer, and Patton, preceded her in death, as well as her son Randall Meredith Turner. She is survived by her daughter, Linda Jean Medoff, and her husband Paul, of Oakland, CA; six grandchildren: Marnella Hatch and Delayne Medoff of Berkeley, CA; Kimberly Tucci and her two daughters Elizabeth and Gabriella of Bradford, CT; Jay Turner of Ridgefield, CT; and Waylon and Jesse Turner of St Louis, MO.
The family would like to especially thank Miranda Cawlfield, Autumn, Trinity and V,say at Family to Family Services.
Services will be held Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 10:30 am in Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home with a visitation at 9:30 am until service time. Burial will follow in Eastlawn Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, 627 N. Glenstone Ave, Springfield MO 65802; or Downtown St. Paul United Methodist Church, 413 E. Walnut, Springfield, MO 65806.
Published in the News-Leader from May 13 to May 15, 2016