Bill Turner, 75, passed away peacefully Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Hospice House of Spokane after a long battle with congestive heart failure.
He was born Oct. 3, 1947, in Lewiston, to Harlan L. (Toad) and Neva L. Montague Turner. He attended schools in Clarkston and graduated from Clarkston High School in 1965. He started his work career picking cherries and mowing the neighbors’ lawns and he was proud to have the first gas-powered mower in the neighborhood.
After graduating from CHS, Bill attended Washington State University, studying electrical engineering and he worked summers for the Camas Prairie Railroad. While attending college at WSU, students began protesting the Vietnam War on the WSU campus, which made it difficult for him to attend his engineering classes. Bill decided the best thing for him at the time, was to volunteer for the military draft. In March 1968, he was drafted into the United States Army and went off to Vietnam as an air traffic controller.
After his discharge from the Army in 1971, Bill returned to school at WSU. In 1972, Bill went to work for GE Medical Systems and his work took him all over the Northwest and even up to Alaska.
Bill loved Alaska and stayed up there to work until 1976. He moved back to the valley in 1976, after an extended trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Bill then went to work at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in the maintenance department, as the electrician. In 1978,
Bill went to work for Potlatch Corp. on the lumber side, as a cleanup person, lumber puller in surfacing, sawmill electrician and an instrument electrician at No. 4 power boiler. Later on, he became a supervisor at No. 4 power boiler, a maintenance planner at pulp and paper, a pipefitter/welder supervisor and a predictive maintenance engineer, before losing his job in 2000, because of a reduction in force.
That same year, he went to work at WSU as a maintenance and custodial supervisor at the Student Recreation Center and later added the newly remodeled Student Union Building to his responsibility. In 2011, Bill retired.
He met Nanette Griner at the hospital and they were married in 1977. Bill adopted her son, Skylar, and in 1979, they had a daughter, Ashlee Morgan. He built their family a home in Asotin and later sold that, to purchase a farm near Anatone. Their marriage ended in 1995.
He then built a home closer to town, since his dad told him that he would not find another spouse that wants to “live at the farm.” He met his sweetheart, Bonnie Knewbow in 1998 and Bill and Bonnie were married in 1999.
Bill enjoyed his time as a scoutmaster for the Asotin Boy Scout troop. He was a past member of the Asotin school board, a member of the Elks and Washington Cattlemen’s Association. He enjoyed the family place at Priest Lake, fishing with his buddies Rich, Jay and Joe. He always looked forward to Rich’s fish fry after a day of fishing on the lake. Bill also looked forward to the weeks of hunting every hunting season up at the Anatone farm with his buddies Louie, Walter, Zeke, Sunshine, Hunts, Little Will, Ranger and Gordon. Other important friends of Bill’s were Cosmo and Danny.
Bill was an avid WSU Cougar sports fan. He also loved watching Gonzaga basketball, Seahawks football and NASCAR races and he looked forward to talking about all the games and gossip with Rich on their almost daily phone calls. Bill always looked forward to going to all the different sports games and recitals that his grandchildren participated in and he always asked when the next one was, so he could be there.
He is survived by his spouse, Bonnie Turner; stepsons, Ryan Knewbow, of Colorado, Brandon Knewbow and spouse Diane of Lewiston, Jamie Knewbow and spouse Stephanie, of Clarkston, and Skylar Turner; his grandchildren, Austin and Evan of Colorado, Teigen, Savannah and Kamryn of Lewiston and Nora and Sam of Clarkston.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Ashlee Turner.
A celebration of life will be held in Janunary/February 2023. Details will be announced at a later time.
Many thanks to the Advanced Congestive Heart Failure group at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, All Hearts Infusion of Spokane, and Dr. Greggain and his office staff. And most of all, his main caregiver, wife and best friend, Bonnie Turner.
Merchant Funeral Home of Clarkston is in charge of arrangements.