William Grey Turney

February 24, 1932June 28, 2018

William G. Turney of Haslett, MI, passed away on June 28, 2018, at the age of 86. Surviving Bill are his loving family, including his wife Frances, daughters Susan Turney (Haslett, MI) and Cathryn Stanley (Frederick, CO), and grandchildren Michael Stanley, Andy Stanley, Katy Stanley, and Maggie Turney.

Bill was born in Lansing, the only child of Grey and Louise Turney. He spent many joyful summers at Mystic Lake YMCA Camp as a camper, lifeguard, and camp counselor. He went to Eastern High School in Lansing, where he was co-captain of the swim team and began dating Fran when they were both 14.

In 1952, when he and Fran were both students at Michigan State University, they got married on a snowy day during winter break. Bill earned both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in sanitary engineering at MSU.

During 1954-56, Bill was in the Civil Engineering Corps at the U.S. Naval Station in Bermuda, serving as Assistant Public Works Officer and Deep Sea Diving Officer.

Upon his return to Michigan, Bill worked with John R. Snell Engineers during 1956-62, specializing in the design of water and sewerage facilities. For six months during this period, he was overseas as chief consultant to the Republic of South Korea on solid waste disposal projects.

In 1962, Bill began his career as a state of Michigan employee, working for the Michigan Department of Public Health as a consultant to the hospital and nursing home license program, and then as Basin Engineer of the Wastewater Division. In 1969 he joined the staff of the Water Resources Commission, which later became a part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In 1973 Bill became chief of the DNR’s Bureau of Water Management, and in 1976 he was put in charge of the state’s consolidated environmental protection programs. He became a DNR deputy director in 1979, and in 1980 took over operations of the DNR’s Management Services Bureau. Bill retired in 1989.

Bill and his family had many happy summer weekends at their cabin in Grayling. Bill was a skilled woodworker, and he learned to paint in his later years. He enjoyed traveling with Fran in Japan, Europe, and New Zealand. He was enthusiastic about his long-distance bicycle touring, fly fishing, and working as a volunteer for the Lansing YMCA youth camping programs. He was a YMCA volunteer for over 65 years.

Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to Mystic Lake YMCA Camp, Box 100, Lake, MI 48632.

Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. at Burcham Hills Retirement Community (2700 Burcham Drive, East Lansing) and at 11:00 a.m. at Haslett Community Church (1427 Haslett Road, Haslett). Everyone is welcome to join the family for a luncheon at Haslett Community Church immediately following the 11:00 service.


  • Mystic Lake YMCA Camp


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, July 25, 2018
  • Memorial Service Wednesday, July 25, 2018
  • Luncheon Wednesday, July 25, 2018

William Grey Turney

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