Robert Wayne Turner

February 19, 1938February 12, 2018
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Robert Wayne Turner, age 79 of Dallas, Texas, passed away on February 12, 2018, one week shy of his 80th birthday. Robert was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 19, 1938, with his twin and “womb-mate,” Carolyn Hierholzer. He graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas, received his Bachelor’s degree at Rice University in Houston, Texas in 1960, and received law degree in 1963 from his beloved University of Texas School of Law.

Robert was married from 1963 to 1986 to Lydia Paredes Turner, with whom he had two daughters, Cheryl Turner and Allyson Turner Jannotta. Robert was re-married in 1986 to Karen Nichols, with whom he had two step-children, Shannon Flores and Jake Wells.

From a young age, Robert shared a passion for Ham Radio with his late father, Carroll G. Turner. Known to many by his call sign “W5APN,” Robert’s lifelong hobby was restoring Collins radios and pursuing an elusive quest for the perfect radio signal. Even after Alzheimer’s Disease took much of Robert’s memory, he remained proficient in Morse Code.

Robert began his legal career clerking for a federal judge in Houston, followed by eight years at the Houston firm of Hyer, Eichenroht, Thompson & Turner. In 1973, Robert was presented the opportunity to foster his love for patent law by joining a group of lawyers in Dallas to form a boutique IP litigation firm, Hubbard, Thurman, Turner, Tucker & Glaser. In 1990, Robert joined the international law firm Jones Day as the head of the Intellectual Property Section. In 2012, Robert evaded retirement by joining forces with talented colleagues at the law firm of McDole Williams. Throughout his legal career, Robert served on the boards of several professional organizations and was frequently recognized as a “Texas Superlawyer” and one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas.”

Professionally, colleagues describe Robert as an “Intellectual Property Rock Star” for his mastery of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law. Throughout his 50 years in the practice of law, Robert authored numerous legal articles and was a prolific speaker at continuing legal education programs. In 1992, Robert returned to the University of Texas School of Law as an Adjunct Professor where his “Enforcement of Intellectual Property” course was consistently in high demand. Robert’s patent, trade secret, trademark, and anti-trust clients ran the gamut from giants such as Texas Instruments, Baker International, Bausch & Lomb, Dresser Industries, Phillips Petroleum, and US Aluminum to patents on iconic products like Nautilus gym machines and Pop Rocks candy. Despite an illustrious career, Robert’s greatest professional accomplishment was seeing the many young professionals he mentored grow into leaders of their fields of law. An ardent feminist, Robert was particularly fond of mentoring and encouraging bright female lawyers at a time when senior female IP lawyers were very rare. Many of today’s best and brightest female IP attorneys credit Robert with giving them meaningful opportunities to advance their legal careers.

Robert’s final years were spent in the loving environment of Silverado Memory Care.

Robert is survived by his wife, Karen Nichols Turner, his daughters, Cheryl Turner and Allyson Turner Jannotta, his sons-in law Ron MacFarlane and Tony Jannotta, his step-children Shannon Flores and Jake Wells, his step-daughter-in-law April Wells his stepson-in-law-to-be John French, his grandchild Anthony Cosmo Jannotta, his twin sister Carolyn Hierholzer, his brother-in-law Rev. Mal Hierholzer, his nephews John Hierholzer and Rob Hierholzer, his nieces-in-law Natalie and Jennifer Hierholzer, his great-nieces Lauren, Sara and Kate Hierholzer, his great-nephew Ryan Hierholzer, his sister-in-law Shelley Carroll and her husband Ron Carroll, his nephew-in-law Scott Carroll and his wife Kelly Ellis and great niece-in law Kirra Carroll.

A memorial service celebrating Robert’s life will take place at Sparkman Funeral Home at 1029 South Greenville Avenue, Richardson, Texas on February 17, 2018 at 10 am.

In honor of Robert’s dedication to the advancement of women in Intellectual Property law, donations may be made to the University of Texas Robert Wayne Turner Memorial Scholarship in Law at or by mail to The University of Texas School of Law, 727 East Dean Keaton Street, Austin, TX 78705 (attn: David Onion).


  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 17, 2018

Robert Wayne Turner

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Carl Roth

February 22, 2018

Very sad to hear of Robert's passing. We overlapped a couple of years in law school, but really didn't get to know him until co-counselled with him on several TI lawsuits in the 1990's and became great friends. A fine lawyer, and a finer gentleman. Always patient, kind, humble and unassuming. And drove a sports car with a ham radio sitting next to him in the passenger's seat! Were never many like him, and very few remaining. He will be missed by all who knew him. My condolences to Karen and the family for their very great loss.

Paul Bierbrier

February 17, 2018

Sorry to miss the service. Karen, I love you and your family. I wish you a peaceful life and drop in to say "hello" please.

Love, Paul Bierbrier

February 16, 2018

My heart is so sad, Robert was a great guy and his friends will miss him. Tears and hugs for Cheryl and Allyson and God's comfort for his grieving family.
Glyssie Berberian, (Dallas, TX)

Jonna Cook

February 15, 2018

Words cannot express my deep sadness at his passing. I worked for him for years and am a better person for it. He was always kind, and that meant a great deal to me. It was a pleasure to assist him in his passion for the law and to see how much he genuinely cared about people.

Jonna Cook

Christine Karol Roberts

February 15, 2018

To the Turner Family:
I have no words. The angels are singing and we are sobbing because we have lost a man who was not only brilliant, but kind and humble. The perfect trifecta. Robert ran his race perfectly and did not go gently into that good night. He was a fighter all the way. I hold each of you in my thoughts and prayers and know that Robert will be with you in your hearts, minds and memories always. Love, Christine

Christine Karol Roberts

February 15, 2018

To the Turner Family:
I was crushed to learn from Allyson that Robert lost his battle with Alzheimer's on February 12. It was as if God sent Robert to me to mentor and guide me along my legal path. He was a proponent of woman's rights in the legal marketplace before it became fashionable, and didn't just give it lip service. He lived it. I am just some of the proof. Always so positive and encouraging and gave me as much responsibility as his legal assistant as I was willing to take on. He gave me the courage and impetus to apply to SMU Dedman Law and continued to support me along the way, and from time to time over my now thirty two years of practice. He was always there when I needed to get his input on a case or client and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It was the penultimate gift when I was hired by a California client whose legal matter ended up in federal court in the northern district of Texas and I could retain him as co/local counsel. I was so proud to be able to work with him. The protege still learning from the mentor and master of the IP game. I can't imagine not being able to pick up the phone and call him for input or just to say hello. Godspeed Robert and Rest In Peace until we meet again in the Highesr Court in the Universe. Love always, Christine

February 14, 2018

He was a wonderful attorney and a joy to work with at Jones Day. Anne Leather

Michelle Snider

February 14, 2018

Karen, I am so sorry to hear about Robert. The two of you have always been like family. He was a wonderful man and will truly be missed. Our hearts go out to you.

With all our Love, Sonny & Michelle Snider

Ken Adamo

February 14, 2018

He was one of the last of a dying breed of lawyer , person , partner and all-around decent man. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing him, working with him and just hanging out with him , is now living in a world less civil , kind and honest as a result of his passing .

Rest well, Robert .