Cover photo for Ruth Turner's Obituary
Ruth Turner Profile Photo
1933 Ruth 2021

Ruth Turner

May 14, 1933 — June 23, 2021


Theada RUTH Turner, passed away at home Wednesday, June 23, 2021.  She was born May 14, 1933 in Anna, Texas to Hardy Pope Nitcholas and Lena Agnes Randles Nitcholas.  She married the late Billy Ray “Bill” Turner on September 20, 1952, in Idalou, Texas and they enjoyed 49 years of marriage before his passing.

Funeral Services are scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, June 26, 2021 at First Baptist Church Odessa with Dr. Byron McWilliams officiating.  Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens under the direction of Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home.

Ruth met Bill, the love of her life, at the grocery store in Idalou, Texas. He was drafted shortly after their marriage and she supported him through 2 years of service during the Korean War. Bill attended college at Texas Tech University on the GI bill. There he completed an accounting degree before continuing on to become a CPA. After his graduation they moved to El Paso with their son Tommy in June 1958 before coming to Odessa in December 1958. Ruth was a loving mother and supportive spouse as Bill pursued his career in accounting including founding Turner Ferguson & Co. CPA’s. Bill often remarked he could never have achieved his success without her support. Bill predeceased her while on a cruise after 49 wonderful years of marriage.

Throughout her life, travel was one of her great joys and passions. She had dreamed about traveling as a child working cotton in the fields of the Texas panhandle. Over her lifetime she traveled the world visiting over 90 countries and 6 continents. Beyond just planes, trains, and ships she also traveled on elephants, ox-carts, and camels. Many wonderful trips were taken, and memories made with Bill by her side. She continued sharing her love of travel with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren after his passing. She often remarked on the joy she received from seeing exotic foreign places for the first time again through the eyes of her children and grandchildren. A frequent mode of travel in her later years were cruises, which the great grandchildren lovingly referred to as the “big boat trips”. Many wonderful memories were made by the entire family on these trips together.

Throughout life Ruth was also a strong Christian woman and lifelong Baptist. After Bill’s death she remarked that she was confident and comforted by her faith in Jesus Christ, but her soul was lonely for him. As we grieve here, we know she is now reunited with her great love and best friend in heaven as well as long missed and beloved family members. She is also having a long-awaited cup of coffee (or three) with many dear lifelong friends who passed before her.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Bill Turner, her parents, and her grandson, Brett Ryan Turner, who died at the age of three with cancer and her sisters Vida Woodard, and Jean Schmidt.

She is survived by her children, David Turner and wife Jami of Odessa, Beth Turner Libson and husband Dr. David Libson of Odessa, and Tommy Ray Turner and wife Lin of Midland.  She is also survived by her sisters Bea Burlesmith of Odessa, Linda Cave of Idalou, and Bill Nitcholas of Carrollton. Also surviving are her beloved grandchildren Jennifer Turner Smith and husband Kyle of Boerne, Katherine Kirk and husband Anthony of Odessa, Laura Travis and husband De’Quincy of Odessa, Christy Libson of New Braunfels, Alexandra Golden and husband Houston of Odessa, Emily Callendar and husband Brandon of Odessa, Miles Turner of Fort Worth, and seven adored great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests that you make a donation in her honor to Family Promise of Odessa (, South Texas Alliance for Orphans (, First Baptist Church of Odessa ( or the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Turner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, June 25, 2021

6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home

, Odessa, TX 79762

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Funeral Service

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Starts at 3:00pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church Odessa

709 N Lee Ave, Odessa, TX 79761

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Interment following funeral service

Saturday, June 26, 2021

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