Michael "Mike" Stanley Turner

April 10, 1949November 11, 2021

Dr. Michael “Mike” Stanley Turner, 72, passed away on November 11, 2021 after a courageous fight with pancreatic cancer. For those who knew him, his bravery, strength and endurance throughout this battle was a testament to the character he showed throughout a remarkable life.

Mike was born in Minneapolis, MN to Beatrice (Gładziszewski) and Gerald Turner. He was the second of four children and remained close with his siblings Terie Turner, Patricia Collins, and Timothy Turner throughout his life. The Turners left Minneapolis in 1966 and traded 10,000 lakes for cheese by moving to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1972, Mike received his degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and proceeded to The Medical School of Wisconsin, graduating with honors in 1976. From a Minnesota childhood to Wisconsin college career, Mike then ventured to another midwestern state to complete his residency in neurosurgery at Indiana University. It was in Indianapolis and neurosurgery that he established a lasting legacy in his professional and personal lives.

Mike joined Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group (ING) at Methodist Hospital in July, 1981. At ING, Mike specialized in pediatric neurosurgery and was on the forefront of treating pediatric patients from childhood to adulthood. He pioneered the use of intrathecal pumps to treat spasticity. Outside of his practice, he helped establish the Indiana chapter of ThinkFirst, a nonprofit that focuses on traumatic injury prevention. He was among the first trauma surgeons at Methodist, where he was a senior consultant in forming the state’s preeminent trauma program. He later helped author the CDC and Prevention Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children. He was an engaged partner at Goodman Campbell until his retirement in 2013. After leaving practice he continued to contribute to the field of neurosurgery as a consultant for Medtronic. While consulting, as he did throughout his career, he educated, elevated, and improved safety through collaboration and support.

When it came to the care of his patients, Mike possessed a unique combination of energy and empathy. In a field that can be intimidating, he had a gift of humanizing medicine, helping those in his care to focus on their healing. He extended the same efforts to his staff; to become a part of Mike’s team was to become a part of his family. It is fair to say that Mike was truly beloved by his patients and team members.

While his accomplishments in the medical field were numerous, if you were to ask him, he was the most proud of his family. He would likely then add that he “made the most beautiful grandkids.” His family includes: children David Turner (Kat Cheng), Kate Stamatkin (Chris Stamatkin) and Julia Turner (Amit Patel), Kathy Flint and her daughter Hannah, and his grandkids Hugo, Wynn, and Georgia Stamatkin, Lincoln Scottie and Jackson Turner, and Roland Patel. His legacy will undoubtedly live on through the love he poured into his family. He gave selflessly, loved deeply, and showed compassion to all. He taught by example the virtues of generosity, hard work and never discriminated to whom he offered his time and love.

In the 1990’s, Mike found his ideal hobby in fly fishing. It was a passion that took him around the world and created many lasting friendships. He angled for trout in streams in Montana, for bonefish in the Caribbean, and even for exotic fish like peacock bass and piranha in the Amazon, but most often, he practiced his hobby closer to home at Sweetwater Lake, his home away from home since the mid-90’s. At the lake, Mike formed a strong community with his neighbors and would remark - like clockwork - as he watched a sunset from his boat, “Life doesn’t get much better than this.” He loved his lake family and spent as much time with them as he could, inviting them to partake in whichever ambitious meal he had prepared. During his annual 4th of July celebration, he was renowned for smoking a whole hog in his barbeque, organizing live music, and sharing both with as many people as he could. Mike loved to cook and found great pleasure in sharing both his know-how and the end results of his culinary prowess- each meal, of course, accompanied by a nice cold glass of Fisheye.

Please join us to celebrate the life and legacy of Mike on December 5, 2021 from 1-5 p.m. at The Heirloom at NK Hurst, 230 West McCarty Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225. His family has found great joy in hearing your stories and we look forward to more being shared during this celebration. In anticipation of a large crowd and honoring Mike’s lifetime commitment to keeping others safe, we respectfully request that all guests wear a mask while indoors. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to, continuing Mike’s fight against pancreatic cancer, or in support of his final project, the Ice Rink at Holliday Park, by visiting and adding his name to the honor/memory section.


5 December

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Heirloom at NK Hurst

230 W. McCarty Street
Indianapolis, IN


Michael "Mike" Stanley Turner

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Ross

November 27, 2021

I worked with Mike for about 20 years at Methodist, treating pediatric brain tumors. We had a regular multidisciplinary peds brain tumor clinic. It was the most intense and challenging part of my practice.

Working with Mike Turner was a joy. In an otherwise intense and serious atmosphere, he always brought humor and supported me regularly. His resections were superb. That clinic and interaction with Mike remain a major highlight of my career. I will miss him and his huge smile.

Pamela Pluff

November 24, 2021

I was saddened to just hear he was gone. I managed him for many years and on day one he said he to me you will never make it. At his retirement party I reminded him I was still here. He laughed.
His staff and patients cared for him deeply. A light has been lost.

Sending you prayers and condolences on his passing.

Sandra Doney

November 21, 2021

Dr Turner was a great surgeon and had a good sense of humor . I had the privilege to work with him and he was always pleasant and very grounded as a surgeon. I am very sorry his. life was cut short and may all his family remain strong and remember him fondly . I will remember him with good thoughts and know he's with the angels now . Sandy Doney

Brian Templeman

November 21, 2021

This obituary was sent by a family friend to my mom who recognized the name. Dr Turner saved my life (or atleast my look) by performing a craniectomy on my skull when I was two months old. I’m now 33. Thanks Dr Turner. My condolences to his family and friends.

Gary and Gayla Breslauer

November 21, 2021

It was with great sadness that we read of the passing of Dr. Turner. We remember him with great fondness as one of our patients in our dental practice. He would usually come in in his scrubs and fall asleep as we waited for the exam . He was a hard working guy and needed some rest ! He took care of Gary when he needed a minor surgery even though he was not a child . The nurses seemed confused, but we knew he was in good hands. Our hearts go out to all the family at the loss of this great man . He leaves a wonderful legacy in his career and family.

Janet Dunderdale

November 20, 2021

Our only daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 10 years old. My dear cousin, Terry Heath, sche duled our appointment with Dr. Turner. Dr. Turner did a wonderful job fixing her.
We will always be grateful,
John, Janet and Phoebe Dunderdale

Christian Beaton

November 20, 2021

A truly amazing man and gifted surgeon who influenced so many and has left and indelible mark and wonderful legacy. About 20 years ago I was on call and was called for an emergency craniotomy on a 5 year old boy who had fallen out a second floor window while visiting his grandmother.At one point we had no blood pressure.We had to replace this kid’s blood volume twice while Mike feverishly worked to control the bleeding and repair his injury.A few days later while making rounds I went to see this little boy but his bed was empty,my heart sank.I approached the nursing station to ask about him.This miracle boy was playing with toys in the rec room.As I approached him his back was towards me ,all I could do was smile and thank God that we could be his instrument on that fateful day.Rest in peace Mike your spirit will live on in all those you touched.

Anne Ogren

November 19, 2021

As a pediatric resident over 40 years ago, I first met Mike and was impressed with his rapport with children. Our paths crossed over the years as Methodist colleagues. I greatly appreciated his being an early proponent of car seat usage. His advocacy must have saved many lives. I feel blessed to have known this gifted, once-in-a-generation physician . My condolences to Kathy and his family.

Howard Harris

November 19, 2021

I worked with Mike during my
entire 31 years in the NICU at Methodist Hospital. He was always available whenever help was needed for a sick neonate with a neurosurgical problem.
His attitude was always positive and he was a wonderful person with whom to work.

Evie Angelique

November 18, 2021

Dr. Turner saved my son Chris Moody’s life in the summer of 1981 at Methodist Hospital. Chris was admitted to Methodist after being hit in the forehead with a lawn Jart! Dr Turner was also a part of getting Jarts off the market to prevent injuries & death due to their design! He encouraged me & other parents to sue the maker. The ill designed Jarts were later taken off the market after Congressional hearings. Thank you Dr. Turner for the many lives you saved & for truly caring about your patients & their families! As God said ‘Job Well done my good & faithful Servant!’ You served God’s purpose for your life! Rest easy my friend! Fly high & RIP! Condolences to your family!