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Obituary of William Raymond Turner
Bill was born in Hartville Missouri and moved with his family to Castroville California when he was three years old. He spent his youth hunting, fishing and playing baseball with his brother and friends - especially with his best friend Harold Miller.
He attended Salinas High School and served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was very proud of the 40 years he worked with PG&E in Salinas and Hollister. Starting as a general laborer in the gas department, he worked his way up to Field Foreman and ended his career as a respected training expert in gas pipeline installation and repair.
Family was so important to Bill, and we were all blessed with a large and very close collection of relatives. Camping at Union Valley Reservoir brought dozens of us together, and back in the day our family reunions at Sherwood Park saw over two hundred attendees and regularly made the newspaper.
Bill loved sports and enthusiastically enjoyed coaching his sons’ little league teams. Nothing could keep him away from the TV when his beloved Giants were playing, and his favorite player of all time was the one and only Willie Mays. If we could have only captured the joyous energy that radiated from him when the Giants won their first World Series in 2010…
He was an excellent welder and created wonderful metal sculptures. He and one of his pieces – a seven foot tall Tin Woodsman – were featured in an interview on CNN!
Bill was an avid collector of, well, just about everything. Tools, lunchboxes, hubcaps, insulators, marbles, pocketknives, license plates, tonka trucks, pens, antiques, you name it. If he heard something was a collector's item, it was going to get collected.
First Baptist Church of Salinas was his second home, and he was an active member throughout his adult life. The church could always rely on his handyman expertise when repairs were needed, and he could be seen every year during the church’s Streets of Bethlehem event during the Christmas season – first as one of the wise men and for many years later as the town blacksmith.
Bill was lucky and skillful enough to successfully court the true love of his life, Betty Miller. They were married in 1956 and spent 65 years together as the happiest (and cutest…) couple you’ve ever seen. Always the quintessential gentleman, Bill never forgot to open the door, hold the hand or remember the birthdays and anniversaries. An annoying high bar indeed.
Bill and Betty enjoyed a very active life spending time with their church family, their antique car club family, and all their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
He didn't slow down in his senior years. He and Betty were very active in their antique car club and horseless carriage club - traveling around the world and touring the country in their old cars and period clothing.
Bill was so generous with his time. One of his greatest achievements was founding and leading the Salinas United project which benefited our city's parks and homeless children.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years Betty, son Lintelle, grandchildren Elizabeth Turner, Tiffany (Turner) Allen, Brandon Turner, Brett Turner and Emma Turner and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Bob Turner and his son, Jeffery Turner.
Bill's passion for life was well known. Scores of folks in his Alisal neighborhood would recognize his smiling face and kind words as he and Betty would walk their streets for exercise and to beautify the neighborhood by collecting litter.
A memorial service will be held for Bill on Saturday afternoon March 5th at 2:00m PM at the First Baptist Church in Salinas. Everyone is invited to attend and welcome to share a brief memory. Masks will be required for those not vaccinated for the corona virus.