Frances Jean Turney

August 16, 1931January 5, 2019

HASLETT—Frances Jean Turney of Haslett, MI, passed away on January 5, 2019, at the age of 87. Surviving Fran are her loving family, including daughters Susan Turney (Haslett, MI) and Cathryn Stanley (Frederick, CO), and grandchildren Michael Stanley, Andy Stanley, Katy Stanley, and Maggie Turney.

Fran was born in Detroit, the only child of Louis and Dorothy Probst. As a young child, Fran loved Belle Isle and the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

When her family moved to Lansing, Fran enrolled at Eastern High School. In her freshman year, 14-year-old Fran announced to her parents, “I met a nice boy named Bill Turney. He invited me to the basketball game. Don’t say no—I already told him I’m going.” Fran and Bill were both in the honor society and on the yearbook staff. They graduated in 1949. In 1952, when they were both students at Michigan State University, they got married on a snowy day during winter break, beginning a marriage that would span 66 years. Fran earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at MSU.

The Navy sent Bill and his family to California and then to Bermuda, where Fran developed an appreciation for all things British. After Fran and Bill returned to Michigan and bought a house in Haslett, they joined Haslett Community Church in 1959. Fran helped with Sunday school and clothing distribution for children in need, and Bill and the girls sang in the choirs.

From an early age, Fran knew she wanted to be a teacher. She taught in the Haslett schools for 29 years, first as a fourth-grade teacher and then as the district’s first reading specialist. Fran believed that all children can enjoy learning. She was always aware when a student was without lunch or a winter coat, and she quietly provided.

Fran was a lifelong learner. She was a skilled seamstress, knitter, hand-quilter, and cook. In her mid-fifties, Fran began studying Japanese, and she was selected to be an exchange teacher for six months in Michigan’s sister state of Shiga, Japan. Fran was an avid reader with a large collection of books on many topics. As her grandchildren say, “before Google, there was Grandma and her books.”

Fran and her family had many happy summer weekends at their cabin in Grayling. Fran and Bill enjoyed traveling in Japan, Europe, and New Zealand, and Fran especially loved visiting friends in Japan and hiking in Switzerland.

Donations in Fran’s memory may be made to the Haslett Community Food Pantry, which helps many school-age children in need and their families. (Please make checks payable to Haslett Community Church with “food pantry” on the memo line, and mail to Haslett Community Church, PO Box 217, 1427 Haslett Road, Haslett, MI 48840.)

On Monday, April 29, there will be a visitation 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Burcham Hills Retirement Community, 2700 Burcham Drive, East Lansing, in the Whitehouse Room (downstairs).

On Wednesday, May 1, at Haslett Community Church, there will be a visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to join the family for a luncheon at the church at 12:00.


29 April

Memorial Visitation

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Burcham Hills Retirement Community

Whitehouse Room

East Lansing, Michigan

1 May

Memorial Visitation

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Haslett Community Church

1427 Haslett Road
Haslett, Michigan

1 May

Memorial Service

11:00 am

Haslett Community Church

Haslett, Michigan


Frances Jean Turney

have a memory or condolence to add?

Deb Mercer

January 19, 2019

Fran was my first Haslett colleague when I was hired by Haslett in 1989 as a part time reading specialist. I so appreciated her high standards,her knowledge, her collegial support.
She seemed delicate in physique but I came to understand and aporeciate her strength and energy and
determination .
I worried about her hiking in Switzerland because of the problems with her hip or back. I worried that she was going alone on her trip-she just smiled. I enjoyed her quiet sense of humor!
I was thankful always for her professional support and her contribution to the reading program and Haslett children.