Dennis George Turner (91) passed away peacefully at the Gables Memory care in Pocatello, ID the afternoon of May 29, 2023, he was surrounded by loved ones.
Dennis was born January 20, 1932, in Lego, ID to LeRoy Victor and Reba Naomia Turner. Dennis spent his youth in the Grace, ID area learning to farm, working alongside his father and his older brother Mike. His first paying job was at 9 years old driving a team of horses to rake and stack hay for .25¢ per hour. Dennis lost his father at the young age of 14, after which he held many odd jobs along with Mike to help support his mom and sister (Mary). Dennis earned his Eagle Scout Award while in high school. He graduated from Grace High School in 1951.
In 1952 he married Lila Mikesell. They lived in several different places where Dennis worked various jobs to support his family, he became a skilled carpenter and welder during this time. Dennis and Lila had three children, Lorna, Vance, and Lonnie and they eventually settled in Georgetown, ID where Dennis worked at the plants in Soda Springs. Dennis and Lila were divorced in 1969.
Dennis continued to live in Georgetown and was very active in the LDS Church. It was here that Dennis met VerJean W. Kunz, a widow with 4 children. They taught young men and women’s groups at church and attended special interests group dances with each other. Dennis and VerJean fell in love and were married August 20, 1970. Dennis became a stepfather to VerJean’s four children Karl, Steven, Greg, and Luana Kunz. Together they joined households and had two more children, Denise, and Virginia. Over the years their family has grown to include 27 grandchildren, 66 great grandchildren and 23 great-great grandchildren. Additionally, there were many others who called the Turner household home as their door and hearts were always open to those in need.
Dennis served in many callings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints. He’s always been a steadfast missionary. He and VerJean were the unofficial welcoming committee for any new families moving into Georgetown. It didn’t matter if you were a member of the church or not, Dennis never met a stranger and was a friend to everyone. In 1997 the couple was called to serve an 18-month proselyting mission in the Atlanta, GA area returning home in 1999.
Dennis and VerJean were always active in and loved the Bear Lake community. They ran the VerDen Dairy for 25 years and were once awarded the top 10 out of 800 dairies in the Western States Co-Op. When called to serve their mission, they sold their herd but continued to farm for several more years. Dennis was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his work with the Bear Lake Republican Party where he served as the precinct committeeman for 30 years. After retirement, Dennis and VerJean served as guides at the Paris Tabernacle. Dennis always enjoyed working with and breaking horses, which he continued to do well into his seventies. Other hobbies included hunting, gardening, growing raspberries, watching grandchildren’s sporting events, being outdoors, reading, talking to strangers, telling bad jokes, and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention his love for the Utah Jazz.
Dennis was preceded in death by his son Vance Turner (Debbie), older brother Mike, and younger sister Mary. He is survived by the love of his life VerJean and children Lorna Zundel (Fred), Karl Kunz, Steven Kunz (Jeri), Greg Kunz (Cindy), Lonnie Turner, Luana Kunz, Denise Forsberg (Kevin) and Virginia Murphy and many beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren.
The family would like to say a special thank you to the loving providers who cared for Dennis the past two months at The Gables in Pocatello they are truly special spirits.