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Obituary: Nancy Lee Turner

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Nancy Lee Turner

Beloved mother, grandmother and friend, Nancy Lee Turner (née Hill) passed away on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 with her family at her side. Born in Orleans, Vt. on Nov. 23, 1924, Nancy lived a loving life of devotion to her family and service to others. Raised in northern Vermont and educated as a legal secretary, she married her high school sweetheart, Frederick Muer, and began her life with the Marine Corps, complete with its varied destinations and unique lifestyle. With the loss of Fred in Korea and the birth of her daughter, Fritzi, she returned to her parent’s home.

In 1953, she married Tom Turner and again became the wife of a Marine. They lived in numerous locations and she bore three sons, Tom Jr., Jim and Sam, to round out the family. In every duty station, Nancy created a home in which all the children thrived and their friends were welcome, and she volunteered in each community in which she lived. In Japan, she had a special group of ladies she taught to knit; in turn, they taught her nuances of their culture. Nancy worked in the registrar’s office at Palomar College for many years.

With Tom’s retirement in 1975, they returned to Vista, which became their permanent home. Early in their retirement, they traveled throughout Southern California by motorcycle, touring with a Japanese rescue dog in a basket on the back. Some 25 years ago their cabin in Idyllwild became a beloved second home.

In recent years, as a result of her personal challenges, Nancy became involved with the San Diego Center for the Blind in Vista. First as a student herself and then as a volunteer, she brought to bear her organizational and interpersonal skills and passion for the mission of the school. She also enjoyed working frequently at the Vista Senior Center.

Her hobbies varied over the years, and were always creative — from painting, seashell design in Hawaii, to Japanese shadowboxes, watercolors and knitting baby blankets. Her competitive nature was evident in basketball and marksmanship awards, bowling trophies and beating her grandkids in bocce ball. But her greatest skill was the gentle and cheerful grace with which she lived her life. She earned the admiration and love of all she knew.

Nancy is survived by daughter Fritzi and grandson, Vincent; son Tom, his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Elizabeth, Carrie and Will; son Jim, his wife, Patti, and their children, Brock and Lauren and her husband, Travis, and great-grandson Kaden. Nancy was predeceased by her son, Sam.

A celebration of her life was held Sunday, Oct. 16 at her home in Vista. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the San Diego Center for the Blind, 1385 Bonair Road, Vista, CA 92084.

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