Richard grew up on the farm, working alongside his father. He graduated from Mount Moriah High School in 1942 and attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
He began his career with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, which required training in Ohio. This experience provided him with a lifetime of stories about his train journeys to and from Ohio. He then served the government out of Gallatin, Missouri, where he encountered J.C. Penney. Penney persuaded him to enter the clothing business and to work for him. Richard was employed at J.C. Penney in Bethany before joining Preach Thompson at Thomson’s Mens Wear, the predecessor to Richard’s Mens Wear, which he took over in the 1960s. Richard dedicated over seven decades to the clothing industry in Bethany, actively working nearly full-time until he was 92.
A devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Bethany, Richard served as a deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, in the Brotherhood Fellowship, and on various pastor search committees.
Richard met his future wife, Dorothy, during a Sunday School Retreat at Windermere Baptist Assembly. They married on May 22, 1971, in Dorothy’s hometown of Evansville, Indiana.
Richard and Dorothy were parents to three children, one of whom died before birth. They were graced with three grandchildren, all of whom Richard saw graduate from high school, despite starting his family at nearly 50 years of age.
After his father, Frankie, passed away, Richard became the primary caregiver for his mother, Grace. He and Dorothy regularly included Grace and Dorothy’s sister, Mary Anna, in their activities.
Richard’s community involvement was extensive. He was active in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, served as a trustee of Miriam Cemetery, as a Bethany City Councilman, in the Bethany Chamber of Commerce, and the Bethany Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellowship recipient. He was also one of the last surviving members of the “Southside Mafia,” a group of retail store owners on the south side of the Bethany Square.
He enjoyed recounting tales of his youth spent along Trail Creek, searching for Jesse James’ hidden treasure, his horse Dan, his resilient dog, and playing baseball with Babe Adams when he returned to Mount Moriah.
Predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Dorothy, a child born before birth, and his parents, Grace and Frankie Turner, Richard’s legacy continues through his daughter Kathy (Eric) Sweat, son Rick Turner, granddaughter Morganne (Peyton) Spurling, and grandsons Andrew and Luke Sweat, all residing in Bethany.
Richard’s faith remained strong throughout his life, often humorously noting his longevity might have puzzled his family and friends in Heaven. He has now joined them, celebrating his faith for eternity.
Graveside Services and Burial will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, November 10, in Miriam Cemetery, Bethany, MO, under the guidance of Roberson Funeral Home, Bethany, MO. The family will welcome friends from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Friday at the First Baptist Church, Bethany, MO. Contributions can be made to the Richard Turner Memorial Fund for improvements at Crestview Nursing Home, c/o Roberson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 46, Bethany, MO 64424.