Dr. Bill Turner

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Dr. Bill Turner, 81, died Jan. 9, 2003, at St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Mo., after a long battle with heart disease.

He was born Sept. 6, 1921, in Arkansas City, Ark., the son of the late Dr. W.E. and Cora May Turner. In 1948, he married Katherine Harwell Vance of Dallas. She preceded him in death in 1987. In 1988, he married Martha Farmer of Allendale, S.C. She preceded him in death in 2000. Three brothers and three sisters also preceded him in death.

Dr. Turner served in the United States Army Medical Corps as a surgical assistant during World War II. He served in North Africa and Europe from 1942-46.

Following in war, he entered the University of Arkansas and graduated in 1952 as a Doctor of Medicine and completed his internship at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. He began his practice in Piggott, joining his father and brothers. In 1960, he moved his practice to Poplar Bluff. In 1975, he accepted a position at Taylor Health Center, Southwest Missouri State University, in Springfield, Mo. In 2000, the Missouri Board of Healing Arts commended Dr. Turner for 50 years of service as a physician. Dr. Turner was a member of the AMA, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the University of Arkansas Alumni Association, and the Razorback Boosters Club.

He was an avid Razorback fan and was known to travel many miles to watch them play. He also enjoyed bowling, fishing, and being with friends.

Dr. Turner devoted his life to his family and caring for his patients. All those who knew him will cherish his memory.

Dr. Turner is survived by one son, William F. Turner, Jr. and wife, Janet, of Poplar Bluff; three daughters, Mary Kay Rhoads and husband, Dr. Jack Rhoads, of Joplin, Suzanne Riehl and husband, Van, of Cape Girardeau, and Kimberly West and husband, John, of Fairbanks, Ak.; one brother, Dr. James H. Turner of Nashville; one sister, Paige Riffe of Apopka, Fla.; very dear friends, Maxine and Dick Gohr of Springfield, Mo.; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A private family service was held followed by cremation and interment at the National Cemetery in Springfield. His family asks for contributions to be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis or the University of Arkansas Medical School scholarship fund in Little Rock.