OBITUARY

Thomas Turner

October 1, 1936September 8, 2020
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Thomas Jerome Turner, 83, passed away September 8, 2020. He was born to August and Josephine Turner in Sabinal, TX on October 1, 1936. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years Sandra Turner; his daughter and son-in-law Kelly and Steve Tefertiller and beloved granddaughters Shannon and Peyton Tefertiller of Flower Mound, TX; and his son and daughter-in-law Mark and Dianne Turner of Austin, TX. The youngest of eight children, Tom is survived by sisters Isabell Reed of Uvalde, TX and June Edwards of Sabinal, TX. He is preceded in death by his siblings Jeanette Alexander, Evelyn Shaw, AJ Turner, Bobby Turner, and Eunice Echols. Tom was blessed with many additional nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.

Tom grew up on the Turner ranch in Sabinal, which led to his lifetime love of fishing, hunting and sports. He served as Class President throughout high school and was an avid athlete in football and baseball, as well as Captain of football team. Tom dedicated his life to ministry and serving others. He attended The University of Texas in El Paso on football scholarship, later transferring to UT Austin and finishing his degree in Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University. He pursued graduate studies in Divinity at ACU and later Communication Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Tom met Sandra Strahan at ACU and they married August 31, 1961 in Burnet TX. After university, he and Sandra joined a mission team and moved to Vienna to begin more than 30 years in ministry and benevolent service. He worked with churches throughout Austria and Europe and was the editor of the European edition of Firm Foundation, a religious periodical translated into multiple languages. Tom was a founding member of Eastern European Missions, a non-profit organization putting free Bibles into the hands of multitudes of people.

Returning to the US in 1979, Tom served as Pulpit Minister at Cameron Road Church of Christ and ministered in other Austin-area churches. Tom extended his career into Real Estate while volunteering in ministry. Tom was a loving husband and father, had a thoughtful and modest spirit, a keen intellect, and gift for delivering sermons that sat at the soul of the listener. Tom was stubborn and complex at times, with a wry sense of humor and a generous nature. Those who knew him feel his imprint and carry their love for him eternally.

A funeral service will be held at Vanderveer St. Church of Christ, 102 S. Vanderveer St. in Burnet at 2:00 p.m. with burial following at Burnet City Cemetery.

Memorial contributions welcome at: www.eem.org/donate

Arrangements were made by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet. Condolences may be offered at www.clementswilcoxburnet.com

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Jim Meyers, Pallbearer
  • Carroll Bishop, Pallbearer
  • Victor Bishop, Pallbearer
  • Tim Reed, Pallbearer
  • Tom Howard, Pallbearer
  • Ernie Yates, Pallbearer
  • AW Warden, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Jim Wilham, Honorary Pallbearer
  • David Fowler, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Funeral Service Vanderveer Street Church of Christ

    Sunday, September 13, 2020

  • Graveside Burnet City Cemetery

    Sunday, September 13, 2020

Memories

Thomas Turner

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Lynn Camp

September 12, 2020

We remember meeting Tom as college students at Abilene Christian. He soon joined a group of six others who were planning a missions effort to Austria and Communist Eastern Europe following graduation. Weekly meetings focused on preparation for a long-term commitment to sharing the Gospel in that part of the world. For Tom that also meant a lot of unrequested help in finding a wife. Imagine the celebration when he finally announced that Sandra Strahan would join him and his life’s pursuit! Tom exhibited rare gifts for Bible study and lesson preparation. His journalistic ability blessed us all. Sandra’s dedication as wife and mother provided stability and support to her family and the entire mission. We thank God for them and their dear Kelly and Mark.

Since the mission team would be resident in Vienna, learning the German language was essential. During the first winter Tom missed one of the weekly meetings of the team. He appeared the next week with the blackest eyes ever and a huge nose. Explanation: because of a severe sinus infection Tom had visited the neighborhood doctor. After examination the doctor asked a question in German that Tom thought he understood. Tom’s reply: “Ja, Ja” (yes, yes). The doctor quickly placed one hand firmly on Tom’s forehead and reached back to grasp a hard rubber mallet. With one swing he powered the mallet against the bridge of Tom’s nose. Blood and all the signs of terrible infection gushed out of Tom’s nose. Tom blurted, “Hey, what did you do?” Doc replied, “I just asked if I could break your nose and you said, ‘Yes, yes’.” Most of the infection was gone. The eyes and nose took a little longer.

“Dear Father, heartfelt gratitude to You for sending Tom & Sandy into our lives. We are surely the better for it. Thank you for their long service in Your Kingdom. Now we eagerly anticipate a joyous reunion around the throne of Christ, never to part again. Bless Tom's family with all peace and comfort in Jesus. In His name, amen!"

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Biography

      Thomas Turner was known as many things to many people. He was a loved one, a friend, and someone special. To family and friends who knew him best, Thomas will be remembered as a very exceptional person.

      Simply stated, Thomas was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by his family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Thomas leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life he touched will always remember Thomas Turner.

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