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ROSEMARY JOAN TURNER (TOWNEND) 1923 - 2008 For 85 years Rosemary lived an extra-ordinarily full, varied and rich life. She was born in Darjeeling, India, where her parents were posted with British Civil Service. Romey, sister Annette and brother Richard, all went to school in England. When invasion of England was feared in 1940, she was evacuated to distant relatives in Winnipeg. At age 16. she was one of the few women in the Faculty of Science at U. of M., later working in penicillin production in Montreal. After marrying Ogden Turner, in Winnipeg, and having a daughter, Joan and son, James, Rosemary continued her studies in Microbiology and taught at Balmoral Hall School. She loved her summers at Lake of the Woods, swimming and canoeing, regardless of weather. In her eighties, Romey could still do a perfect pike off the diving board, and was always in the water before breakfast. Rosemary made the admirable effort to maintain contact with former neighbours and friends and with relatives throughout the British Isles. Postcards and letters with almost indecipherable handwriting were her trademark, and we loved her for it. Romey's hobbies were riding and seeing foreign lands. In the last 21 years, she lived in a loving relationship with Dr. Otto Spika, in Calgary, and helped him in his medical practice. They enjoyed many far reaching trips from Russia, where they met, to Europe and, in Canada, in their VW Van. She continued to enjoy her lifelong passion for horses and made many friends among the riding community. All this came to an abrupt end with a fatal fall, at home, on December 26, 2008, sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. At her request, no funeral or memorial is planned, but a donation in her name to any charity of your choice, would probably be something she would have appreciated. All who knew Rosemary will have their own collection of humorous, adventurous or joyous memories of her wit, her travels and her animals. Left to remember this lovely, lively, wise and generous lady are daughter Joan Webb (Wayne); grandsons, Kirk, Christopher (Sheila) and Brian (Lisa) Hutton, Otto Spika and many friends. We will miss her, forever.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 31, 2008

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My mother was one of the "distant relatives" with whom Romey lived in Winnipeg when she was evacuated to Canada, but "distant" didn't exist for Romey -- her warmth drew everyone she knew into the closest of circles. We shall miss her dreadfully. - Posted by: Elizabeth Cowan (Family) on: Dec 31, 2008

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