Bill Turner

Bill Turner, 87, of Barling, Arkansas, passed away at his home Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

He was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, on February 1, 1923, the first of eight children of Tom and Olive Turner.

In 1930 his family moved to Cabool, Missouri, where he attended Cabool Schools, graduating in 1941. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, serving in World War II, and retired from the Arkansas 188th Air National Guard.

Bill helped establish the volunteer fire department in Barling, where he spent 20 years and retired as fire chief. He also served as acting administrator for the City of Barling for more than a year and secured the funding to build and help design the current Barling Senior Activity Center. He helped organize girls’ slow pitch softball from Mansfield to Mountainburg and worked many years as an umpire. He was a deacon at Barling First Baptist Church since 1953, and one of the originators of the Arkansas Taxpayers Rights Association. He was an active member of American Legion and Harris-Hannah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6527 in Greenwood, teaching flag etiquette classes to area fifth grade students in surrounding schools. He dearly loved his country and passed this compassion on to others.

He is survived by two daughters, Iris Bruce of Barling, Arkansas, and Joy Turner of Lewiston, Idaho; one grandson, Eric William Bruce of Fort Smith, Arkansas; one great-grandson, William Austin Bruce of Auburn, Kentucky; siblings Pete Turner of Houston, Texas, Wanda Sue Smyth of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Betty Turner, Jeri Timmerman and Mary Ann Hutcheson of Springfield, Missouri.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruby Lee Turner; and two brothers, Donald and Andy Turner.

Funeral services were held at Barling First Baptist Church, with interment at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith with an honor guard by the Arkansas 188th Air National Guard under the direction of McConnell Funeral Home of Greenwood.

Memorial contributions may be made to Barling First Baptist Church, 602 Church Street, Barling, AR 72923, or Harris-Hannah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6527, P.O. Box 33, Greenwood, AR 72936.

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