Lulu Katherine (Wiles) Turner
Lulu Katherine (Wiles) Turner, age 99 ½ years, formerly of Almond area, of Wisconsin Vets Home, King, WI, passed away on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Lulu was born on April 30, 1918, in Monico, WI, to George and Elizabeth (Taylor) Wiles. She was valedictorian of her Rhinelander, WI, high school graduating class and worked for the Rhinelander Paper Company as a secretary until she met John L. Turner of Almond, WI. They were married on September 27, 1941, in Rhinelander. Lulu and John lived in the Almond/ Waupaca areas for most of their married lives. One of their farms is now known as the Faraway Valley Loop of the Emmons Creek Fishery of Hartman’s State Park on Stratton Lake Road in Waupaca. In 1963, by moving to a farm on Highway 54, they were able to fulfill a long-shared dream of opening a farm market, which continues to be operated by her son and granddaughter as Turners Fresh Market in Waupaca.
Lulu was a gutsy woman. She was a drummer in the VRW Drum Corps in the late 1930’s, visited Cuba with a friend in early 1941, started piano lessons in her late 50’s (in order to spend time with her granddaughter), and took up skiing in her 60’s, wisely choosing to sit on her skis on some of the longer downhill sections of Hartman’s cross-country ski trails. She sewed dresses without using patterns, understood meditation exercises before they became popular, and was the most patient person most of us will ever meet.
A dear friend, Verna Grant, invited her to attend church at Parfreyville Methodist Church in the early 1950’s. This church, which would later honor her with their Heritage Award, became family to her, too. She baked for every event, causing her husband to suspect all cakes were church-bound, not for him. Lulu’s faith was so very strong that, in later years, sitting in her recliner at the Vets Home, when asked who she was talking quietly to, she would reply, “Jesus”. Early in life she adopted Philippines 4:12, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I am.” She lived this every day of her life, spreading joy (her favorite word) to everyone she met. Although God did not gift her with a great singing voice, she spread the joy of song at every opportunity, especially during her three years
of living at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Ainsworth Hall where she participated in choir and any other music activities available.
Verna Grant also invited her to the Badger Homemakers Club in the late 1950’s, which Lulu always said was the “beginning of her social life as a married woman”. She later served as president of her club and treasurer at a county level. She loved the learning aspect of Homemakers, as she was always searching for new things to learn.
She was so honored to serve as Treasurer of the Town of Farmington for many years. People remember going to the King bank to pay their taxes and enjoying a good chat with Lulu. She was awarded the Waupaca 1990 Peace Day Award for “her life of sharing the gift of peace in her daily actions”. She taught leather-craft at the Wisconsin Veterans Home for years and to Scouts, 4-H members, and anyone who might be interested.
And then there was the Market, which began with John growing corn and Lulu driving along the Chain of Lakes roads, selling to summer guests. First came a small building, then a bigger building, then the Market that lives today. John tended the fields and grew the crops. Lulu tended the Market and grew the relationships with the people she enjoyed so much. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of original customers return now, asking about “Mrs. Turner” and telling of their visits to the farm when they were children. How she loved the people! Again, working with Verna and so many other ladies in the coming years by her side, Lulu, always with John in the background growing the vegetables and growing the dream they’d held, grew Turners Market. She was so proud that Ross and Tara have continued the business. Even as her memory faded, she’d ask “How’s the Market?” Thank you to all the wonderful customers/friends she made there!
Lulu is survived by her daughter Jeanne Bootz, Waupaca, and son Ross Turner (Waupaca), her precious grandchildren, Ben Bootz (Evanston, IL), Andrew (Angela) Bootz, Monona, WI., John (Kelli) Turner, Waupaca, Tara (Katena Roberts), Waupaca, and Daniel (Jeanne Ryan) Bootz, Nelsonville, WI., her extra-blessing great-grandchildren, Paxton, Hugo, and Jude Bootz, Lucius Turner, Cooper, August, and Iris Roberts-Turner, and Esme and Lulu Bootz. She is also survived by her foster daughter Nancy (Dennis) Miller of Mauston, WI., and their children and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband John, daughter Lynne, granddaughter Annie Turner, son-in-law Robert Bootz, her parents, brothers Douglas (Geri) Wiles and Philip Wiles, dear friends, Verna and Everett Grant, and many others she loved so dearly.
A Celebration of Lulu’s Life will be on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at noon at the Parfreyville United Methodist Church in Waupaca. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the church. Burial will take place in the spring at Barton Cemetery in the Town of Farmington. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Lulu’s name. The Holly Funeral Home of Waupaca is assisting the family with arrangements.