In Memory of




Obituary for Joe Francis Turner

Joe Francis Turner

February 13, 1926 - July 2, 2023

Joe Francis Turner, 97, of Irving, TX, entered the Kingdom of Heaven on July 2, 2023. He was born in Gober, TX, on February 13, 1926, to Ira Cornelius and Effie (Durham) Turner, the youngest of ten children. He grew up in Bonham, TX, and graduated from Bonham High School in 1943. He worked for the Texas Pacific Railway after high school until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 12, 1944. He attended the Naval Training Facility in Farragut, Idaho. He served as a Radarman 2nd Class on board the aircraft carrier USS Admiralty Islands (CVE-99) and saw service throughout the Pacific during World War II. While on the USS Admiralty Islands, he participated in the Invasion of Iwo Jima, the Battle of Okinawa, and Operation Magic Carpet. He was discharged on January 15, 1946, at Camp Wallace, TX.

He married Mary Elizabeth Oates of Bailey and Bonham, TX, on October 5, 1946, in Houston, TX, where he attended the University of Houston. After his freshman year he did not return to school as Mary Beth was now expecting their first child. Instead, they returned to Bonham, and he went back to work for the Texas Pacific Railway. A son was born in August 1947 and a daughter joined the family in April 1949.

He began a long career with Delta Airlines in November 1947 at Dallas Love Field, and then later at Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. After witnessing the crash of Delta 191 at DFW on August 2, 1985, he took early retirement in 1986 as that event affected him greatly.

He and Mary Beth were charter members of Plymouth Park Baptist Church in Irving, TX. He was a member of the Maj. K.M. Van Zandt Chapter of the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the local chapter of Delta Pioneers.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Virgil, baby boy, Donald, Kenneth, and Glen; sisters, Juanita, Lois, and infant twins Eloise and Melodise. Mary Beth preceded him in death on March 24, 1992. He met Ima Jeanette (Harvey) Gage, and they were married on February 24, 1993, in Irving, TX. Jeanette preceded him in death on July 25, 2014. His daughter, Karen Lynn Turner, preceded him in death on November 9, 2021.

Joe is survived by his son, Ronald J. Turner (Janice) of Euless, TX; granddaughter, Jennifer L. Justison (Jason Ankrom) of Heidelberg, PA; grandson, David S. Turner of Fort Worth, TX; great-grandchildren, Samantha N.Youngblood of Avalon, PA, and Ryan B. Youngblood (fiancée Abby McLean), of Burgettstown, PA.

A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Irving on Friday, July 7, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. where he will be laid to rest beside his beloved Mary Beth.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

In lieu of flowers family ask that donations be made to the American Cancer Society

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Plymouth Park Baptist Church

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