July 26, 1936 — July 1, 2019
Darlene Fay Turner, or more lovingly known as, “Thad’s wife,” was born in Kennedy, Minn., to Ella and Gudford Swanson. Ma Turner grew up on a farm with her sister, Della Mae, and brother Lyle (both deceased). Darlene was born with a heart of gold. Always a dreamer and care-free from a young age. She disliked washing dishes and feeding the chickens. Ironically, she never got the hang of doing dishes and delegated that to her children and husband, Thad.
She found herself pregnant and single at a young age. Her dad told her that puppies and kittens can be given away, but not my grandchildren! She, with the help of her family, raised her daughter, Toni. Darlene’s future grandchildren and great-grandchildren became her most valued treasures. She went on to marry Bob Blair (deceased) and had identical twin boys, Dirk and Kirk (Kirk died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when he was 3-months old) and daughter, Heather.
Darlene was raising her three children and working in Miles City, Mont., at the Six Hundred Dollar Cafe. One day, a tall, dressed in white, gambling cowboy named Thad Turner swept her off her feet. She actually told him she would marry him if they could have a boy and name him Timber. He said, “I haven’t even asked you to marry me.” Thad married the waitress with the three kids and they had a boy named Timber. That was the beginning of an adventurous journey that lasted more than 53 years. July 16 of this year would have been their 54th anniversary.
Darlene took a painting class that ended up turning into her passion. She always said the reason she signs all her paintings “Thad’s wife,” is out of respect for “Daddy,” her husband, Thad. Thad always allowed her to take painting classes and dedicate many hours to her passion. She rarely sold her paintings. She bartered, gave them away or shared them with her family and friends.
She enjoyed gardening, planting seeds and reaping the rewards of beautiful flower gardens. Ma also loved planting the seeds of the word of God. She loved Jesus with every breath she breathed. She and Thad worked in ministry, visiting jails, nursing homes and anyone she ran into on the highways and biways of life. The door was always open and the coffee was on 24/7.
Ma could never get enough pictures of family and friends. She spent many hours making collages and writing letters and postcards to everyone she had ever known. She made more plans and had more ideas than days on this earth. Anyone who knew Darlene also knew she was fixed-up from head to toe every single day. She always had her nails painted, hair fixed, lipstick on, and wore some jazzy outfit! Her optimism and zest for life will never be forgotten.
Darlene was surrounded by family the day the Lord came calling for her. She will be deeply missed by all those whose lives she touched. Ma always said, “life goes on in the land of the living!”
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Altar Church, 901 E. Best Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814, with a luncheon to follow. Yates Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements.