June 6, 1928—May 10, 2019
Ruth Meyer Turner, 90, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2019, surrounded by love. She was born June 6, 1928, in Clinton, Oklahoma, to John H. and Elva Means Meyer. She grew up there, graduating from Clinton High School, where she began dating the love of her life, Keith Turner. She started college at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) a year after Keith was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II. When Keith returned, he and Ruth were married in Clinton, Oklahoma, on June 6, 1948, Ruth’s 20th birthday. One year later, while they both attended college, Ruth and Keith started their family with the birth of their first son, Keith David. Two years later came John Clark. Ruth and Keith raised two very active boys.
One of Ruth’s greatest joys was watching her sons (and then her grandchildren and great-grandchildren) play ball—baseball, football, basketball, softball, and volleyball—and run track. Ruth led a long life of service to her family, her church, and her community. She worked as a teacher and music coordinator in Twin Falls and surrounding community schools until her retirement in 1985. She built on a childhood of singing and playing the accordion, followed by singing in the choir and playing in the orchestra in high school. She and her two dear friends began a trio in junior high, which continued through college. In high school, Keith occasionally joined the Clinton High School Trio, which expanded their repertoire to Bing Crosby songs. In college, the trio became known as the Alpha Chi Omega Trio, and they performed for sorority and other campus functions. Ruth loved to cook, bake, and sew as a child and put that to good use by earning her college degree in Home Economics Education. After graduation in 1951, Ruth and Keith remained in Oklahoma City. That summer, John was born, and Keith worked while taking additional classes to earn accreditation in elementary education.
In 1952, the family moved to California, where Ruth and Keith both began teaching. Five years later, the family moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, where Keith had accepted a position as Principal of Lincoln Elementary and Ruth became a 4th grade elementary school teacher, followed shortly after by a position as the Elementary Music Supervisor, which she held for 25 years. She taught numerous music workshops for elementary classroom and music teachers at state meetings and seminars. She also started a Junior Choir at the Twin Falls First Baptist Church in 1968 and continued to lead it for nine years.
Ruth had a deep and lifelong Christian faith, which led her to hold numerous positions at Twin Falls First Baptist Church, including teaching Sunday School and Bible School, singing in the choir, leading the bell choir, and serving on numerous boards and committees. Ruth’s membership in P.E.O., a Philanthropic Educational Organization, lasted her entire adult life (nearly 73 years). She was asked to chair the 1971 state convention in Twin Falls, and she was elected to the state executive board, serving as President in 1979. After her retirement from teaching in 1985, Ruth invested her time in community service, starting her decade-long role as Program Chair for Christmas in City Park. In 1986, Ruth arranged the program for Ronald Reagan’s presidential visit to Twin Falls. In 1988, Ruth became the Events Chair for the Magic Valley Arts Council, for which she booked the Arts on Tour performance series for more than 13 years. She was instrumental in starting Kids Art in the Park and the Missoula Children’s Theater. For her efforts, in 1988, she received the Idaho Governor’s award for the Promotion of the Arts and the Arts Northwest Award “in recognition of outstanding achievement and service to Arts Northwest and the Northwest performing arts field,” and in 2002, the Twin Falls Mayor’s award for promotion of the arts. Ruth and Keith had been married for 66 years at the time of Keith’s passing in 2014. They built a beautiful life and were surrounded by a loving family and many lifelong friends. Ruth’s work and service positions in music and the arts have made a lasting impact on the Twin Falls community. Her efforts touched so many lives, for which she was honored with a Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to her in April 2019.
Ruth is survived by her two sons, David Turner and his fiancée, Liz Kline (Ogden) and John Turner and his wife Lori (Twin Falls); her grandchildren, TJ Turner of Weiser, Audrie Terre (Stephan) of Tucson, Crystal Ayers (Brian) of Twin Falls, Emilie Turner of Salt Lake City, and Saxton Turner of Boise; her beautiful great-grandchildren, Carter Pochynok, Clara Pochynok, Kaitlynn Ayers, Trey Haight, and Leif Terre; many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews; and many lifelong Bridge, church, P.E.O., and Arts friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Keith, her granddaughter, Natalie (Hailey); her grandson, Jake (Twin Falls); her parents; her sister; her nephew; her great-nephew; and her niece, all of Texas.
Ruth’s family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Bridgeview Estates, Comfort Keepers, and Visions Home Health. You made the end of Ruth’s life more comfortable, and you treated her family and friends with such compassion.
Friends and family are invited to attend services at First Baptist Church of Twin Falls on May 29, 2019. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:00 a.m., and the service will begin at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ruth’s name to Magic Valley Arts Council (www.magicvalleyartscouncil.info) or charity of your choice.