Mary Ellen Turner

Mary Ellen Turner died October 11, 2012, at Christa Shores, Bremerton, Washington.

She was born March 10, 1910, on the Bud Morris ranch west of the Bear Lodge in northeast Wyoming. Ellen’s birth was a difficult one. If it wasn’t for Dr. Knight we all probably wouldn’t be here today.

She graduated from the Alva Grade School and the Hulett High School, attended the Spearfish Normal School and received her Teaching Degree then taught at several Grade Schools in Crook County, Wyoming.

Ellen’s father, Steve Morris was killed by lightening near Broadus, Montana. He and a friend were looking for some land to build a home, were camped with a teepee for shelter and the lightning struck the center pole. Steve’s body was then shipped back home by rail. John Mahoney hauled his body with a freight wagon from Aladdin to Alva. As a result John became aware of the Stephen Morris family. Ellen was two, and Joe was about six months old. Later John offered to hire Ellen’s mother as a housekeeper. Gertie accepted and the Stephen Morris family moved to the Mahoney ranch, one mile south of Alva, Wyoming.

Gertie became weary of the housekeeping and gave notice to John that she was leaving and going back home (Iowa). John was devastated and admitted to Gertie that he secretly loved her and the kids. He asked to marry her on the spot. The proposal took her by surprise, but she said yes. They were married December 22, 1915. There was 30 years difference in their ages.

Ellen married Harry Turner March 31, 1934, in Spearfish, South Dakota.

After they were married, they took a vacation. Harry was working for his new step-father-in-law John Mahoney. They went to Alma, Colorado for a visit with Harry’s mother and step-dad, the Hixons. While they were there, they received a letter from Ellen’s mother, saying things were worse at the ranch, and suggested Harry try to find a job in Colorado. Harry then applied for a job at the meat market working for dad Hixon and was hired. They lived in a refurbished “barn” while in Alma.

They later moved to Fowler, then to Pueblo, and eventually his brother Bill Turner loaned him $250 to move to the Seattle Washington area. Harry went to work for the Shipyards, and eventually got back into the meat market business.

Ellen was preceded in death by brother, Joe Morris who was a Lieutenant Colonel Squad Commander in the Air Force. He was missing in action over France August 8, 1943.

She was also preceded in death by brother, Lloyd Mahoney (April 29, 1929); father, Stephen Morris (June 30, 1912), step-father, John Mahoney (September 30, 1936); mother, Gertrude Mahoney (April 15, 1965); husband, Harry Turner (October 14, 1985); sister, Alice Long (February 27, 2008); brother, John Mahoney (September 9, 2009) and brother Fred Mahoney (March 29, 2012).

Ellen is survived by her brother, Ed Mahoney; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Betty Turner; son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Norma Turner; son and daughter-in-law, Sam and Cindy Turner; six grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren.

Added footnote: When her brother Ed was a teenager in the Army Signal Corps and stationed in Panama, Ellen wrote him a letter every week. It sure helped cure the homesickness. Later Ed returned the favor by writing his “Old Sister” and sending her pictures just about every week until she could no longer read or understand what was read to her.

Thank you again “Old Sister.”