Paul Laurence Turk
Laurence Turk, age 64, went to live with his Heavenly Father Tuesday (July
1, 2008) in the arms of his wife and best friend at their home at 412 E.
Lake St., Ventura, after a long and valiant battle with brain cancer.
Paul believed that one of the "blessings" of cancer was the personal
relationship he developed with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on his
journey to "seize the prize." It is especially significant and assuring to
Paul's family that he went to heaven on the two-year anniversary of the
death of his beloved son, Dr. Jeff Turk.
A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran
Church in Clear Lake on Monday, July 7, with Pastor Dean Hess officiating. A
luncheon with fellowship and sharing will follow and all are invited to
Visitation is offered with the family from 2 to 4 p.m. today, July 6, at
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel in Clear Lake. The family suggests memorials
to Zion Lutheran Church, Hospice of North Iowa or the organization of your
Paul was born on June 9, 1944, in Mason City to Paul Lorentz Turk and Lucile
Emilia (Anderson) Turk. He was baptized and affirmed his baptism through
confirmation at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Mason City. Throughout his life,
Paul confessed his Christian faith and worshiped at Trinity Lutheran in
Creston, Emmanuel Lutheran in Grafton and was currently a partner at Zion
Lutheran in Clear Lake. It was through the ministry and support of his Zion
Cancer Support Group and Zion partners that Paul matured in his faith. He
devoted time daily to reading Scripture and often announced to family,
friends, doctors, or anyone who would listen his favorite verse; "This is
the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice in it and be glad."
Paul graduated from Mason City High School in 1963. He had worked part time
at Rushing's grocery store during high school and upon graduation was
offered a position at the newly built Easter's Super Value store, in Mason
On May 7, 1965, Paul married Nancy Lee Sutton of Kensett. Paul and Nancy
became the proud parents of two children, Jeffrey Paul and Leslie Lee,
bringing joy beyond measure to their lives.
In 1966, he was offered the position of assistant store manager and accepted
a transfer to Ottumwa to train and set up the new store's first electronic
pricing system. In 1966, he transferred to Creston as assistant manager to
position himself for a store manager position. In 1972, Paul's dream of
owning his own grocery was achieved with the purchase of Walk's Market, in
Grafton, which he operated with help from his faithful employee, Bertha
Tesch, until he was forced to close out due to big box store competition and
rising insurance costs. Paul kept the market open to benefit the community
as long as he was able, supplementing the family's income by driving a tank
wagon for Bruesewitz Chevrolet, driving school bus, raising hogs, and
working at Winnebago. For two years, Paul and his family owned and operated
Gobbler's Roost restaurant and lounge. In 1985, Paul sold the "Roost" to
reduce the stress in their lives after Nancy was diagnosed with breast
cancer. He began working at Hormel in Austin, Minn., and commuted daily for
14 years. Paul's tumor was diagnosed in 2002, following an MRI at his son's
radiology clinic, in Moberly, Mo. He was forced to retire in May 2005, seven
months short of full retirement, for treatment of his brain tumor.
Paul valued raising his children in the Grafton community and had many happy
memories of Turkey Days, coon hunting, bow hunting, butchering meat and
playing 500 with dear friends. Paul's dad died when he was nine, and Paul
spent many of his childhood days with his cousins, John and Bobby Turk,
ice-skating, duck hunting and fishing.
In 1985, Paul and Nancy moved to their little "fishing shack" on Clear Lake
and became lake lovers. Paul loved to fish and cherished any time he could
spend with his grandchildren, on the dock, pontoon, or watching them
participate in their many activities. He was so proud of the accomplishments
of his children and grandchildren. A special accomplishment was running his
first Bix 7, in Davenport, with Jeff, his son-in-law in 1991.
Paul's life was devoted to providing for his family. He never asked for
anything for himself or uttered any words of complaint. He was gentle,
caring and tolerant of others. He wanted his children and grandchildren to
be gentle with each other and to love the Lord.
Paul was the loving and devoted husband of Nancy, father to Leslie and
(Jeff) Anderson, Clear Lake, and Jeff Turk, in heaven, and (Lori) Turk,
Moberly Mo.; grandfather to Collin and Logan Turk, Moberly, Mo., and Cody
and Courtney Anderson, Clear Lake. Paul was beloved "little brother" to
Laurene Hayward, Weimer, Texas, and Lynette and (Jack) Weidner, Fla., and
half-sister, Sybil Bockert, Des Moines. Paul was a caring brother-in-law to
Carolyn and (Virgil) Bly, Sarah and (Orlyn) Reindl, Pauline Gleason, Pat and
(Wayne) Kastning and John Sutton. Paul was a proud uncle to many nieces and
nephews, friend to special cousins, and family to his Zion Support Group.
Paul was preceded in death by his dear son, Dr. Jeffrey Paul Turk; his
parents, Paul and Lucile Turk; his father and mother-in-law, Lynn and
Catherine Sutton; his half-sister, Naomi Gunderson; his sister-in-law,
Jackie Sue Sutton; his maternal and paternal grandparents; many aunts and
uncles, and dear friends from the Zion Cancer Support Group.
Paul wrote the following words dated March 24, 2007, that describe his
outlook on life: "I do not think you can get any more happy than a robin, in
the spring. He can not help but to sing praise to the Lord. He sings on and
on non stop - This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad
in it. PRAISE THE LORD.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, 101 N. Fourth St., Clear Lake, 641-357-2193.
(Published July 3, 2008 -
Mason City Globe Gazette)