Born May 14, 1924, in Tillamook, Oregon, of pioneer Oregon families; Dr. Ken Turner was educated at Walla Walla College, OR (B.A. 1948) and Loma Linda University, CA (M.D.1952). He interned and had special training at: Fort Worth, TX and the Army Medical Base in the Panama Canal Zone. Then he spent over two years in general practice in Truckee, CA. where he sometimes had to snowshoe in for house calls and delivered at least one child on a snowbound train below Donner Pass. During this time, our family watched Squaw Valley prepare for the Winter Olympics of 1960. In 1959 we moved to Las Vegas, NV where he practiced medicine for over 50 years.
During his long professional career, he delivered over 15,000 babies and is well and fondly remembered by the medical community of Las Vegas and his numerous friends, colleagues, cohorts, and family.
He is missed.
During WWII he was attached to the glider infantry in the European Theatre and served as a glider medic with the 17th Airborne Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action in 1945. He was proud of his service.
Because of the various pieces of shrapnel still in his body, he could never have an MRI and because of the large amounts of tissue that had to be cut out of his legs after he was wounded in WWII, The Big One, (I’m only quoting) he may have had the ugliest and funniest looking legs ever seen, well perhaps not ever seen but they sure were funny looking. Big old dents and sunken parts where muscle should have been We kids used to hang magnets off some of the schrapnel close to the surface…Hey we were poor and it was entertainment!!!
He was a hero, a funny hero but nevertheless a real hero.
A staunch Republican throughout his life; he founded the organization – Political Associates in Nevada, served on the Board of Directors of the Nevada Medical Political Action Committee, and was an active supporter of Senator Barry Goldwater’s run for Presidential Office and Governor Paul Laxalt’s gubernatorial campaigns.
He was a man of words. His favorite book was War and Peace; he loved crosswords, he wrote poetry, and if you used a word incorrectly in his presence he told you so. He was one of the best extemporaneous speakers I have ever encountered. He also had a very dry wit, could; be extremely funny, sometimes at your own expense but he was seldom hurtful; and was always fun to be around. He was, as so many have said, a gentle man. “Primum non nocere”
He liked cars and at various points in his life owned: a 1956 T-Bird, a 1964 Jaguar XKG and a 1968 bright red Corvette Stingray with the license plate “ZOT”. He also owned a Plymouth Valiant and a 1955 Plymouth red & white 2-door coupe that made it to Panama and back again on a big old boat and returned with cochroaches up the kazoo but let us not go there. Ha Ha bug station gotcha!
He was a complex man of many facets and hard to actually describe or categorize accurately. He could drive for hours, work for hours, study for hours, grocery shop, cook, sleep with his eyes open, tell jokes, laugh and even clean if he had to. He told me he never wanted to peel a potato again after his military service and to this day, I never peel potatoes for potato salad, the skin is good for you. Although not a vegetarian for most of his life, he made gluten for his family when most of us were and finally decided to become one for the last years of his life.
My father told me that his mother always called his father “Boss” because his given name was Boston and then my father woudl ramble through our house asking out loud; “Who da Boss…Who da Boss???” Guy didn’t get much respect at our house but we waited and waited in fervent anticipation for him to come home; so he WAS THE BOSS. (Apologies to Bruce)