Benny Lee Turner
March 18, 1938 – January 27, 2019
It is with sadness that we mourn the loss of Benny Lee Turner, a man of many talents and passions. Mr. Turner was born in 1938 in Hazen, Arkansas to parents HY and Edith Turner and passed away on Sunday , January 27, 2019 from complications due to heart and kidney failure. His death was preceded by his parents and his brother Bob Turner. Benny was raised in North Little Rock and graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1956. Many will know him from his baseball coaching days at Rose City Ball Park. Benny was also a team sponsor there after starting his first business venture, Turner Transmission Service. In addition, it was through the efforts of Mr. Turner and past NLR Police Captain John Charles, that the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was brought to Arkansas in 1959, beginning at the Little Rock Drag Strip, also known as the Excell-A-Rating Drag Strip. The location was featured in the 1959 issues of Car Craft and Hot Rod Magazines where it was listed as the new NHRA-sanctioned drag strip in Little Rock!
But Mr. Turner’s love of cars was soon overshadowed by his love of flying. As a pilot he obtained his private and commercial licenses, and then moved on to get both his instructor and helicopter licenses in his pursuit of adventures and sharing his talents. He flew 14 years for Dillard’s Department Stores as William Dillard Sr.’s private pilot as they traveled the world and later for Alltel, shuttling VIPs and celebrities to sponsored PGA golf tournaments. Before retiring he took up his next passion, the training and showing of award winning quarter horses. He was an active member of the Arkansas Quarter Horse Association and eventually completed Veterinary School classes allowing him to assume a more hands-on role as a breeder from start to finish. His other interests included hunting, water skiing, being a Deputy Sheriff on the AR Radio Patrol, setting up his own home saw mill and supporting the local animal shelters.
Mr. Turner is survived by his wife, Betty Faye Turner of Jacksonville and a sister Janice Kay Squires of Little Rock. Other survivors include his children and their spouses, Sherry & Earl Muehlfarth of St. Louis, MO, Michael & Loywanna Turner of White Hall, AR, and Karen & Cisco Hobbs of Austin, TX; his grandchildren, Elizabeth Goldstein Taylor of St. Louis and Benjamin Goldstein (wife Resa) of Philadelphia, PA and his great-granddaughters, Dagny & Essie Goldstein. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 30th from 5pm to 8pm at Rest Hills in Sherwood, followed by a Funeral Service on Thursday, January 31st at 10:00 am at the same location. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in his honor to the North Little Rock Animal Shelter at #1 Championship Drive or the Jacksonville Animal Shelter on Redmond Road.
- Visitation Wednesday, January 30, 2019
- Funeral Service Thursday, January 31, 2019
Benny Lee Turner
Cloy Turner Neal
January 28, 2019
Sherry, Michael, Karen & family,
It is with our deepest sympathy to let you know that you are in our thoughts & prayers during these difficult times. God bless each of you & keep all of you strong through your faith in him.
Gary & Cloy Turner Neal
Mada Holt Stanley
January 28, 2019
Mike and family,
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I still have fond memories of him taking us to Oklahoma City when he was flying for Mr. Dillard. He was a wonderful and caring man and I know you all will miss him terribly.
With a heavy heart,
Jamie Dee Pinegar
January 27, 2019
Sherry, Karen and Mike....saddened to hear this news about your dad. Memories of our childhood are many.
Love and condolences to you all .