Rodney Paul Turner, 79, passed away March 10, at his home in rural Abingdon. He was semi-retired, but worked until the past few weeks driving grain trucks to local markets for area farmers.
He was born March 30, 1940, in Galesburg to Paul and Mary (Nichols) Turner. He married Betty John in 1962 and later married Ruby Siemens in 1983. Both preceded him in death.
Rod is survived by a daughter, Rodessa (Tim) Switzer of Bushnell, and a son, Chad (Kelli) Turner of Avon; two grand-children, Jeron (Kasey McCumber) Heaton of Donahue, Iowa, and Spencer Turner of Avon; and three great grandchildren, Liam, Kilian and Mattisun; and step-daughter, Gina Mason of Yukon, Oklahoma, 3 step-grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother, Robert (Wanda) Turner of Abingdon, three sisters, Carol Gummerson of Mapleton, Barbara Shreves of Abingdon, and Paula (Job) Marshall of Grand Saline, Texas, and 13 nephews and nieces and their families, and many cousins. He leaves behind his faithful four-legged companion, PITA. He was also preceded in death by his parents and one brother, William, and step-son, Ronnie Siemens.
Rod attended the one-room school, Lincoln, for six grades, then Avon District schools, graduating in 1958. He enlisted in the Air Force, serving mostly in Blytheville, Arkansas, prior to his discharge in 1962. He farmed with his father near Fairview, worked for Fayhee Implement Company in Prairie City, Chadco in Bushnell and began a 40-year career in cross-country truck driving while living in Bushnell.
He and Ruby lived in Holden, Missouri, where he designed and almost single handedly built a log home and owned and operated an electric construction company several years before moving to Oklahoma. There, he again drove trucks cross country and locally. In 2017, Rod transported movie-making equipment between Montana and Oklahoma for the movie "Wildlife" and his name appears in credits. He has lived in rural Abingdon since 2017.
In his late 20's & 30's, Rod raced midget and sprint cars. He and his family spent many Saturday nights at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa. Rod was also a licensed private pilot. He was a lover of animals, especially dogs. He was also an avid reader.
Cremation was accorded. Private services will be held at a later date. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Abingdon Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Guardian Angel Humane Society or any charity of the donor choice in care of Rodessa Switzer, 120 Prairie St., Bushnell, IL 61422. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.
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