Source: Sherman Publications

Ron Turnbull remembered as devoted to family, community

by Susan Bromley

February 29, 2012

Ron Turnbull was remembered this week as a man committed to his family and Ortonville, the community he loved.

Turnbull died Feb. 27. He was 78.

“Ron was an outstanding individual, one of the few that you could totally depend upon,” said Dean Salley, a long-time friend of Turnbull’s who served with him on the board of the Ortonville Community Historical Society as well as the Ortonville Cemetery Association. “He was never late, if he said he would help you with something, he would see that it was done. He was one of the people who built our military display at the Old Mill Museum, one of the finest in Michigan for a small museum. He was very active in the VFW.”

Turnbull was born Sept. 8, 1933 in Groveland Township to the late Bliss Earl and Mary Helen (Auten) Turnbull. Turnbull graduated from Ortonville High School in 1952 and enlisted in the Navy on March 1, 1953. Following four years active service, including a stint off the coast of Korea, and four years inactive, he returned to Groveland Township. He married the former Janice Lane on Aug. 30, 1958 in Pontiac and worked at General Motors, Fisher Body in Grand Blanc until his retirement March 1, 1996.

Turnbull was a 3rd Degree Mason, belonging to the Ortonville Masonic Lodge, member and Past Patron for the Eastern Star and was an active member of the Ortonville Community Historical Society serving as president, vice-president and trustee for many years. He was a member of the VFW Post #582, served eight years on the Brandon School District Board as both secretary and president, was a zoning board member for Groveland Township and served as the chairman for the Ortonville Cemetery Association.

Turnbull attended Ortonville United Methodist Church and was a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. He took great pride in all he did and was proud of the country and community that he served with his never-ending passion to achieve all that he strived for. He achieved many awards and accommodations in his lifetime.

“I love this community and would do anything for its betterment,” said Turnbull in 2006, when he was named “Citizen of the Year” by The Citizen newspaper. The great-great-grandnephew of Ortonville founder Amos Orton added at the time, “I try to do everything I can to see things get done around the village.”

“My dad was a great man and hard worker and always put his family and community first,” said Turnbull’s daughter, Kelle Hruska. “He was very proud of his country and being able to serve. He had strong ties to the community and he loved Ortonville. He was always very proud of what he did. He was a perfectionist and always told us to take pride in ourselves and what we did and always be our best.”

Ron Turnbull is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Janice Turnbull; four daughters, Andrea Turnbull, Kelle (John) Hruska, Laurie (Mike) Dallape and Pamela (Steven) Codd; two sons, Ronald Turnbull and Rodney (Jennifer) Turnbull; loving “papa” to 14 grandchildren, Erica, Angela, Britne, Brandi, Marissa, Aubre, Emily, Megan, Cameron, Braedan, Jordan, Noah, Preston and Emma; three great-grandchildren, Kayla, Reece and Jack; one brother, Ralph Turnbull; two sisters-in-law, Karen Hall and Marilyn (Dick) Lash.

A funeral service will be at 2 p.m., tomorrow, Sunday, March 4 at the Ortonville United Methodist Church, 93 N. Church St. Interment will follow at Ortonville Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., today, Saturday, March 3 at Coats Village Funeral Home, Ortonville, with a Masonic memorial service at 7:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ortonville Cemetery Association. Envelopes are available at the funeral home. To send a private condolence to the family select guestbook at