Donald Walter Turner went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, May 7th, 2018. Don was born July 6th, 1935 to Robert Samuel and Myrtle Jane Elizabeth Turner.
His parents, brothers, Roy, Clyde, Irvin Turner, and Jimmy Lackey and his great granddaughter, Vivian Frierson, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Theresa Turner; two daughters, Caron Sansing and husband Billy, Lisa Frierson and husband Nathan; 7 grandchildren, Haley Johnson and husband Cory, Turner Frierson and wife Randi, Taylor Van Valkenburg and husband Bradley, Caitlin Ivy, Raleigh Weil, Gary Frierson and wife Nancy Sue, and Clyde Frierson and wife Shelbey. He is also survived by his two sisters, Jane Mcintyre and Jo Bledsoe and his 12 great grandchildren, his wonderful nephew, niece, and many special friends.
Don Turner had a passion for his cattle, his beloved pets, being a land man, witching for water, shooting guns and shooting the bull, and could fix whatever was broken. He was a Texan’s Texan. Born in a farmhouse, Don was an active child and remained active throughout his life. He never sat still, except to maybe tell one of his stories, which were usually long, heard multiple times, never boring, and always funny. Don developed hearing loss at a young age and, at a time when schools made no accommodations for such a thing, was able to use his good-looks, charm, and popularity to get help on assignments, usually, Theresa says, from other girls in his class.
Don attended Texas Tech and was later employed by Sinclair Oil. The next chapter in his career was with Texas Instruments in Dallas. After seeing his gregarious nature and tenacity, T.I. sent him to SMU for specialized training, which promoted him to marketing, and customer service manager where he and his associates solved problems for IBM and Hewlett Packard.
Don’s sharp, analytical mind led to another promotion in which he became an overseas manufacturing engineer, taking him far from his farmhouse to set up factories in Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok and South Korea. He developed many close relationships at Texas Instruments and was known as a man who was kind and hardworking.
Don, Papa, Pops, Tootie, Unkie Don, whatever you called him, he was your best friend. His love for everyone was evident by his smile that lit up his whole face and his contagious laugh. He was known for his willingness to lend a hand and his compassion for others. He was truly a prince among men.
He was a giver with an open heart, a worker and fun-loving. Whether it was cleaning his pool, adjusting a creaking door, deep-sea fishing, camping, tinkering to keep his cars running, or grilling pork chops, he loved to be outside and doing. He took care of his creations and possessions and saw their value, just as he saw value in his family, friends, and people he met. And he was ornery, something that was evident in his jokes and his sock selections.
His favorite job later in life was as the ambassador to his daughter’s business, U.S. Cleaners, where he made many more friends, and served as an example of how to work and have fun at the same time.
He was tough and never complained. Through his ten plus year battle with cancer, Don never considered it a death sentence and he left a legacy of research through his experimental treatments he received at Texas Oncology. He had a ceaseless hope that he, his doctors, and God could win his fight. As a result of that uncommon spirit in the face of such daunting odds, Don had more than ten years of life in which he traveled and carried on as he always had until he couldn’t.