Cover photo for Jack Turner's Obituary
Jack Turner Profile Photo
1928 Jack 2024

Jack Turner

November 18, 1928 — January 15, 2024

Billy “Jack” Turner

November 18, 1928 – January 15, 2024


Billy “Jack” Turner, age 95, passed away on January 15, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Jack was born on November 18, 1928, in Bonham, Texas to Virgil Turner and Ruth Thornhill-Turner. He was the middle child of three children, born in an era where hard work and family were of utmost importance. At a very young age Jack and his family moved to Abilene where Jack called home until his death. Jack loved Abilene, as he hated traffic. He would always say, “You can get anywhere in Abilene in ten minutes.”.

Jack married the love of his life, Nelva June Wright, on March 2, 1952. They were married for 71 years and built a life and legacy of love. They had five children, thirteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, although every child associated in any way with Jack was considered his.

 Jack’s father Virgil passed away when Jack was only 10 years old. So, at a young age, Jack became employed with the Abilene Reporter News selling newspapers at Camp Barkley during WWII until the age of nineteen. Thereafter, Jack continued to work for the Reporter News on the Linotype machine and was known as the “Go-To Man” for corrections and to make deadlines. Jack was so well known around Abilene that he made a career change to become Vice President of Marketing for the Bank of Commerce, then First Financial Bank. In 1988 he ran for and won his bid for Taylor County Commissioner Precinct 1. Jack spent twenty years serving Taylor County as County Commissioner before retiring on December 31, 2008. Jack was recognized as County Official of the Year for 2007 – 2008 by the 187 county organizations of West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association. In 2008, he was officially honored as County Commissioner of the Year.

In his younger days, Jack was an accomplished boxer in the Golden Gloves and Abilene High School, where Shorty Lawson was his coach. He had a record of over 80 wins and very few losses. In fact, Jack’s only losses were in the Golden Gloves Finals. After his illustrious career as a boxer, Jack began coaching the Abilene Golden Gloves in 1945 and continued until 1959 to help his lovely wife raise his three sons. In his final year of the Golden Gloves, he was blessed to coach the Texas State Golden Gloves team that competed for the National Championship in Chicago. Jack then focused his attention on Little League baseball, as his three sons started to play the sport. He eventually became the President of Western Little League, where he was the only President to hold that position for multiple years. By the time he stepped down, the league went from one field to three fields- hosting city championship tournaments. In his honor, Western Little League named one of the three fields Jack Turner Field. Jack retired as president to become the District Administrator for Little League, and developed a program that was responsible for many talented players that helped Abilene Cooper High School win back-to-back state championships. Jack was inducted into the Big Country Hall of Fame on May 1, 2017.

He was preceded in death by his father, Virgil Turner; mother, Ruth Perry; brother, Charles Turner; and sister, Hope Jones.

Survivors include his wife of 71 years, Nelva Turner; his children, Stan Turner (Bonnie) of Abilene, Steve Turner (Marsha) of Austin, Keith Turner (Eduwem) of Abilene, Kristi Turner-Macke (Jim) of Lubbock, and Lauren Gastelum (Chris) of Lubbock; grandchildren, Jennifer Poling (Mike) of San Diego, Angela Bradley (Chris) of Austin, Garrett Turner of Abilene, Ryan Turner (Jessica) of Fort Worth, Alex Serur (Chris) of Austin, Eric Turner of Austin, Corey Turner of Austin, Jaklyn Williams of Lubbock, Kinsley Turner of Abilene, Blane Gastelum of Lubbock, Beckett Gastelum of Lubbock, Michael Macke of Lubbock and Jordan Macke of Lubbock; great-grandchildren, Addyson, Austin and Audrey Turner of Fort Worth, Alice, Zoe and Reese Bradley of Austin, Maggie Sarten of Austin, Bella Turner of Abilene, Aidan and Avery Poling of San Diego and Ian and Jaxon Macke of Lubbock; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A special thank you from The Turner Family to Jackie Lowry for giving her love, compassion and time taking care of Jack. Jack adored Jackie, and their bond was unwavering. Additional thanks to West Texas Rehab’s Hospice of the Big Country for being there the last few months.

Services will be held Monday, January 22, 2024, at 1:00 PM, at Southern Hills Church of Christ, where Jack and Nelva were members. A visitation will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2024, 4:00 PM- 6:00 PM at Elmwood Funeral Home.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, January 21, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Elmwood Funeral Home's Family Center

Plant Trees

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, January 22, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Southern Hills Church of Christ

3666 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX 79605

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 927

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree