Lt. Col. (Ret.) Ronald Dean Turner, 76 of Manchester, GA died Monday, April 29, 2013 at his home. Memorial services for Lt. Col. Turner will be held 2:00pm Sunday, May 5, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church, Manchester with Full Military Honors following at the Manchester City Cemetery.
Lt. Col. Turner was born July 3, 1936 in Columbus, NE the son of Dr. Ray Harry Turner and Arline Elizabeth Heyd Turner. He retired as a Lt. Col. from the U. S. Army after serving 30 years. Lt. Col. Turner’s military career stated after he graduated in 1958 from West Point. Upon his graduation he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer, a decision he never regretted. Following the Basic Course, Airborne, and Ranger, he reported to his first assignment with the 21st Infantry in Hawaii. He served there as a rifle platoon leader, reconnaissance platoon leader and staff officer. Lt. Col. Turner later served in Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, NC including a tour in Laos. While he was at Ft. Bragg he attended East Carolina College for a MA in geography. He attended the Career Course at Ft. Benning, where he met and married his wife Sue. Upon completion of his MA degree he was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division in Korea. He served as the division Assistant SGS and a company commander. Lt. Col. Turner was later assigned to the Headquarters of the Army Combat Development Command at Ft. Belvoir. He worked for several general officers, including the Commander, LTG Ben Harrell. He later served in Vietnam as a Battalion S-3 and as the division deputy G-1 in the 4th Infantry Division. After his Vietnam tour he attended CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth. The family then moved to Australia and he attended the Australian Army Staff College. They returned to the states, and he served four years in the OJCA , and in his “off time” completed all requirements for a PH.D in geography. The Turner family then moved to Aschaffenburg, Germany, where he was the Deputy Community Commander, and later commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry “Cottonbalers”. After a short school session at Ft. Bragg, the Turners moved to Hawaii, where he was in charge of relations with friendly and Allied armies in the Pacific Region at the Pacific Army HQ. He retired in 1983. During his time in the Army Lt. Col. Turner received many awards including, three Army Commendation Awards, The Bronze Star and the Air Medal of Valor, Commendation Medal for Valor, two Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit. He along with his wife Sue owned and managed Century 21 Homefinders of Hawaii until they decided to retire in Manchester, GA. Lt. Col. Turner wore his ring from West Point for many years, and was, proud of it and what it meant. His decision to donate it before his death reflects his belief in the Class Ring Memorial Program and what it means to the young people who are joining the “Long Gray Line.” Lt. Col. Turner was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Manchester, the Manchester-Warm Springs Rotary Club where his was a Paul Harris Fellow, American Legion, the Alhira Shrine Club in Hawaii the Masonic Lodge and Scottish Rite.
He is survived by his wife Sue Chapman Turner of Manchester, GA; a daughter and her husband Suzanne and Bill Hardaway of Woodland, GA; son: Ronald Dean Turner, Jr. of San Francisco, CA two grandsons: R.J. and Luke; a sister and her husband Ann and Charles Henle of Galena, IL. Flowers will be accepted or those desiring may make contributions to the First United Methodist Church Youth Programs or the Manchester - Warm Springs Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Scholarship Program.
Cox Funeral Home in Manchester in charge of the arrangements. Please visit www.coxfh.com to leave online condolences for the family.