Last updated by Glenn Hedrick March 9, 2016

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Roy Turner

Roy Edward Turner died after a short illness on March 6, 2016. 

Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 
at First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson 
officiating. Burial will be in Llano Cemetery. 

Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 
2800 Paramount Blvd.

Roy was born to Isaac Anderson Turner and Georgia Thrasher 
Turner on February 11, 1928 in Sturkie, Arkansas. He was the 
youngest, and last surviving, of ten children. He was preceded 
in death by his loving wife of 62 years, Virginia Florence Turner.

Mr. Turner moved to Amarillo with his family when he was six 
months old. His mother and the six youngest children arrived 
in Amarillo by bus in the summer of 1928. Mr. Turner’s father 
hopped a freight train and joined them later. In his youth, 
Roy was an energetic, mischievous young man with little adult 
supervision. He and his friends would work odd jobs to earn 
money for themselves and their families; survival skills were 
attained at a very young age. School was not a possibility due 
to work, and the seventh grade at Horace Mann Junior High School 
was his final year of formal schooling.

During these formative years of his life, Mr. Turner met 
Mr. Ralph Dykeman of the Maverick Boys’ Club. Mr. Dykeman 
took Roy and two of his brothers under wing. Mr. Dykeman 
would guide and mentor the boys for years, undoubtedly, 
saving their lives. Due to malnourishment, Roy and his 
brothers were admitted to the Tuberculosis Preventorium 
in Amarillo at the behest of Cal Farley and Amarillo 
businessman, Chancellor Weymouth. When they were finally 
renourished and released from the hospital, Mr. Farley 
took these three boys and six others to begin Boys Ranch on 
land owned by rancher Julian Bivins. 

At the age of sixteen, Roy decided to enter into an 
apprenticeship to become a bricklayer. Under the 
tutelage of Mr. Harry Gladman, in March of 1945, he was 
initiated as a journeyman bricklayer. 

Roy and Virginia would go on to begin R.E. Turner Masonry, 
Inc. in 1962. His company completed the masonry work for 
many of the original Colorado stone structures at Boys Ranch, 
countless commercial buildings in Amarillo, including what is 
now Happy State Bank, and a number of public buildings, 
including schools, throughout the Panhandle. The project that 
he was most proud of was the chapel at Boys Ranch. 

Roy always joked that someday he would be gone, but what he had 
constructed would remain as a reminder to us all. 

In 1974 Roy became the first Boys Ranch resident to serve on the 
organization’s board of directors. He would be elected President 
of the Board, and, after selling his business, he would serve as 
the first paid executive director of the Ranch from 1988 to 1995. 

While serving as President of the board, Mr. Turner was instrumental 
in bringing Girl’s Town USA under the Boys Ranch umbrella. Governor 
Mark White appointed Mr. Turner to the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission 
in 1984. While serving his six year term as a commissioner, he served on 
the Senate Select Committee on Juvenile Justice. 

He was named Amarillo Globe News Man of the Year in 1994 for his work 
with Boys Ranch. Roy received many accolades and honors during his 
lifetime. However, he was most honored when young residents of the 
Ranch or Girlstown would brag about him being one of the first 
residents and an important leader of the organization later in 
his life. He retired in 1995.

Roy loved coaching Kid’s Inc. football. He loved competition and he 
loved to watch young people be successful. Roy coached his son and 
friends from 1960 to 1963 at Lee Bivins Elementary and at the 
Maverick Club. He took pride that one of these teams was undefeated, 
and unscored upon one season, and was also awarded the sportsmanship 
trophy. Today, many of these men still refer to him as Coach Turner.

For sixty-two years, Roy’s love of his life, Virginia would be at 
his side. Roy and Virginia were partners in everything. They built 
their business together, cared for both of their parents in their 
elder years, worked at Boys’ Ranch side by side, and most importantly, 
they experienced the joy of raising their four children together. 

For all of Roy’s accomplishments, none ever compared to the pride 
that he had for his children and Virginia. Roy lovingly and gently 
cared for Virginia for years before she succumbed to Alzheimer’s in 2009.

Roy Turner is survived by three daughters, Linda Wilson and husband, 
Tom, of Ft. Worth, Sherry Turner of Amarillo, and Melody Turner of 
Amarillo. He is survived by one son, Roy Edward (Eddy) Turner, Jr. 
and wife, Beckie, of Amarillo. His grandchildren are Alexis Wilson 
and Brad Wilson of Ft. Worth, Elise Austell and husband Glenn, of Lubbock, 
Daniel Brannon and wife, Beth, of Amarillo, Barrett Brannon and wife, Sara, 
of Ft. Worth, Jacob Turner of Lubbock, Ginnie Rutledge and husband, Justin, 
of Amarillo, Toby Boswell and wife, Robin, of Loveland, Colorado, 
and Kourtney Bass and husband, Brandon, of Amarillo. Mr. Turner is 
survived by eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.