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1924 Ralph 2023

Ralph Neil Turner

October 7, 1924 — April 30, 2023

Ralph Turner, 98, of Julesburg, passed away on April 30, 2023, at the Sedgwick County Nursing Home in Julesburg.

Ralph was born on October 7, 1924, in North Platte, Nebraska, to Mark Edward and Minnie Magdalena (Goldman) Turner. He graduated from Brewster High School on May 20, 1943, and soon after, he was inducted into the Army in 1943.

Ralph trained on the 105 Howitzer cannon as a cannoneer for the 1st Company Airborne. In 1944, his unit was put into an infantry position, and they launched from South Hampton, England, crossing the English Channel to Omaha Beach. Ralph and his comrades went through Normandy, leading up to the Battle of the Bulge, where they encountered the worst battle at Hurtgen Forest.

Ralph was taken as a prisoner of war during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He and his fellow soldiers who were prisoners, endured interrogations, forced labor, and harsh conditions with little food and clothing during their 131 days of captivity. They were eventually liberated by the Canadian and Welsh National Guard in 1945.

Ralph was awarded numerous honors for his military service, including the Purple Heart, European, African, and Middle Eastern campaign medals, four Bronze Stars, a large Bronze Star for bravery, a World War II victory medal, good conduct medal, combat infantry medal, Prisoner of War medal, and American Campaign Medal. He also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the French Veterans for liberating Normandy.

Ralph was a proud and devoted member of the American Legion for 70 years, his father having bought his first membership in 1945 while he was still active in the Army. In 1948, his wife purchased a life membership for him, and he remained a member of the post in Brewster, NE - #0323.

After being discharged from the Army, Ralph returned home to Brewster, Nebraska, where he worked as a truck driver for various trucking companies. Ralph married Orva Jean McRoberts on April 10, 1948, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and their union was blessed with three children, Gloria, Larry, and Mark. Ralph's company moved the family to Julesburg in 1971, where he continued to drive for Burlington Northern until he retired from the company. Ralph then assisted on the Thode farm, and finally retiring in 2003.

Ralph is survived by his three children, Gloria K. (Thomas) Brown, Larry L. (Karen) Turner, and Mark F. (Nadine) Turner, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Orva Jean in 2002, his five siblings and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial has been established in Ralph's memory for later designation. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsjulesburg.com.

A private committal will be held at the Fort McPherson National Cemetery at Maxwell.

Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Julesburg is in charge of arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Neil Turner, please visit our flower store.

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