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Mary and Lee Turner


Mary Turner completed her journey in this life and entered the house of her LORD on June 26th, 2022. Her faithful husband Lee Turner, told her before she passed he would be right behind her. He followed her to glory less than three weeks later, on July 14th.

Mary was born Marilynne Helm on September 5th, 1940 in Port Huron, Michigan. Lee was born December 31, 1928 in Kokomo, Indiana.

They were married on August 4th, 1983, after the passing of Lee's first wife Virginia McCarter whom he married in 1947, and Mary's first husband Donald Rebitzke whom she married in 1961. Lee and Mary's marriage blended two families. They are survived by their four children: Sandy, Kregg, Doug, and Rob; seven grandchildren: Eileen, Jonathon, Lindsey, Elizabeth, Collin, Austin and David; and five great grandchildren. Mary is survived by her siblings, Phyllis, Robert, and Gayle and preceded in death by her brother Jack. Lee was preceded by his sister Jo Ann.

Lee served in the Army as a paratrooper (101st Airborne), stationed in Japan shortly after WWII. After receiving a medical discharge he graduated from Indiana Business College. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy from California Graduate School of Theology in Glendale, CA in 1986. He also served as the President of the Association of Institutional Development Officers from 1976-1980, and was a Trustee of Western Baptist College in Salem, OR from 1985-1990. He was wrote several Christian books which are available from Grace Fellowship International. Lee was an instrument rated pilot and avid golfer.

Lee and Mary were active in Grace Bible Church of Sun City after Lee retired from the Ministry. While in Indiana Lee Pastored Tri Lakes Baptist Church and was vice president of development at Cedarville University in Cedarville OH until 1980 when he accepted a call to pastor Valley of the Sun Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ.

Mary embraced people with her quick smile and engaging laughter. She will always be remembered for her loving, straight-forward guidance and living out the Gospel. She made a deep impact with the example she left. She taught her children to love Jesus and enjoy life to the fullest. She was always there for others, jumping in helping young mothers with child care and house cleaning. A friend told how Mary made the tedious job of unpacking after moving fun by doing a song and dance every time a box was emptied and put away. Mary instructed her granddaughter that she did not want a typical funeral with people dressed in black crying. She wanted a party with people sharing memories and praising God that she was with Jesus.

Lee and Mary welcome friends and family to the party to share in the celebration of their lives together, on December 3rd, 2022. For details contact Sandy Ermel 602-670-1341.