US Army Col. Ret. Joseph B. "Joe" Turney, 95, of Baldwin City, KS passed away Thursday, July 30, 2020 at Vintage Park, Baldwin City, KS.
He was born February 28, 1925 in Ridgeway, TX the son of James Boman and Ida Lue (Patterson) Turney. He grew up and graduated 1943, from Hugo High School in Hugo, Oklahoma. He won the Oklahoma State Boxing Championships while in High School.
Joe enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 as a Carpenter's Mate and served in the Pacific Theatre with the Seabees. He volunteered for underwater demolition teams that later became the Seal Teams. The underwater demolition teams he worked with were given C-4 then deployed from boats individually to swim into coves and bays of islands held by the Japanese in order to blow up obstacles the Japanese designed to tear the hulls out of the American troop transports. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and was wounded in combat.
He was united in marriage to Dorothy W. Wilson on April 13, 1944. They shared over 72 years of marriage before her passing in April of 2016.
After WWII, he served in the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of Full Colonel. He served as the Commanding Officer of the 388th Medical Depot, as an instructor at the Command and General Staff College and Deputy Chief, Prisoner of War Branch, Fifth United States Army. There were a lot more accomplishments in his 36 years of Military service including Division and Battalion Command experience as well as Military Police training and service.
He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Education from Oklahoma A&M, Stillwater, OK and later earned a Master's Degree in Agriculture Education from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.
His civilian job was as a Supervisor for Farmers Home Administration. He served as the assistant County Supervisor in Tribune, Syracuse and Seneca, Kansas and the County Supervisor in Hays, Kansas. He served as a Loan Specialist for community Facilities and the Emergency Loan Division in Washington D.C. after coursework at the American University in their Master of Public Financial Management program. He served on a task force to rewrite the Farmers Home Administration Instruction book. He returned to Kansas and served as the District Director Community Loan Specialist in Chanute, Kansas.
He served as a President of the National Association of County Supervisors, the Kansas Association of County Supervisors and the Kansas Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association and the Organization of Professional USDA Employees.
He served in Hays Kansas as Director of the United Fund, served on the Administrative Board of the First Methodist Church, was a member of the Lions Club, the VFW and the Masonic Lodge.
Joe actively bought houses and restored them. He did a lot to house people who would otherwise have no place to live. He retired in January of 1986. He and Dorothy moved back to Hugo, Oklahoma and had an active social life, complete with coffee drinking buddies, rental home remodeling and ranching. They moved to Baldwin Kansas 2010 where daughter, Carol and her husband, Jim provided them with assistance to remain in their own home. In 2018, Joe moved a block away to Vintage Park Assisted Living in Baldwin, KS.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy; and two brothers, Douglas and Hardin Turney.
He is survived by his daughter, Carol Robison (Jim) Baldwin City, KS; son, Richard Turney (Phyllis) Overland Park, KS; a daughter, Kay Schieffer (Ron) Iowa City, IA; five granddaughters, Michaela Scruggs (Josh) Prairie Village, KS, Elizabeth Wilkins (Cole) Cedar Falls, IA, Katie Schieffer Wellington, CO, Angela Scott (Brad) Shawnee, KS and Victoria Liertz Shawnee, KS; a grandson, Adam Robison Baldwin City, KS; a niece, Terese Ajer Seattle, WA; and a nephew, Carl Turney Talihina, OK.
A private family Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. The family suggests memorial contributions to Ives Chapel United Methodist Church in Baldwin City, KS and sent in c/o the Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com.
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