Howard was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Patricia Ann Fry of Jasonville and Linton, and survived by sons Patrick Fry Turner of Linton and John Howard Turner of Terre Haute. Howard was preceded in death by second wife Euleta Slover Turner of Shelburn, and survived by son Wade Slover Turner of Centreville, Va. He is survived by grandchildren Grayson, Patricia, and Ethan Turner and great-grandchildren Jared, Levi, Morgan, and Veronica Turner. He was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Veronica Jo Turner and Lindsay Turner.
Howard graduated from Shelburn High School in 1939 and attended Indiana State Teachers College before entering military service in World War II. He lettered in football at Indiana State as a lineman in 1939 and was a member of the ISU I-Club. He also worked for approximately two years at the Allison Division Plant of General Motors Corporation in Speedway prior to military service. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945 primarily at Wright Field, Ohio in fighter aircraft testing. Howard left active duty as a Sergeant and served six years in the Air Force Reserve. After World War II, he worked several years as a professional bricklayer while attending night school at Indiana State. Howard built two homes in Sullivan County and participated in the construction of several major structures throughout the Wabash Valley including St. Patrick's Rectory and Church at 19th and Popular in Terre Haute. He graduated from Indiana State Teachers College with a BS degree in 1957 and an MS degree in 1959 in Industrial Arts Education. Howard earned Principal, Counselor, and Superintendent licenses as part of his academic credentials. He began his 29 year Education career in Industrial Arts at Dugger High School from 1955-56, at Farmersburg High School from 1956-57, and also served as the Basketball and Track coach at Farmersburg. He then taught at Gerstmeyer High School in Terre Haute from 1957-67. In 1967, Howard was selected by the Vigo County School Corporation as Director of Adult and Vocational Education over all Junior High and High Schools and served in that position until retiring in 1984. He also served as Director of Night Education Programs at South, North, and West Vigo High Schools. He was the 1969 Wabash Valley Junior Achievement Boss of the Year. In the late 70s, he served as the first Administrator of the Booker T. Washington Alternative High School near 13th and College. This school continues today for pregnant, parenting, and alternative students and provides daycare for their children.
Howard moved his family from Terre Haute to Shelburn in 1978 where he served on the Sullivan County Northeast School Corporation School Board from 1980-88 and as Board President for several years during that time. Due to his foresight, experience, and concern for others, he was the impetus behind the newly constructed Shelburn, Farmersburg, and Hymera Elementary and Junior High Schools in the mid-80s. Howard kept a private yet deep faith in Christ. He was a member of the Shelburn United Methodist Church, the building Chairman and principal architect on the new church parsonage in 1982, and a major influence for the church renovation in the mid-1980s.
Howard was Commander of Stewart-Norris American Legion Post 197 in Shelburn for eight years and a 65 year Life Member. He was a 57 year Life Member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, a member of Epsilon Pi Tau Academic Honor Society in Technology, a member of the Indiana State Retired Teachers Association, and was a member of the Shelburn Little Flock Cemetery Board, Shelburn Ruritan, and Sullivan Elks Lodge 911. Howard was a Life Member of the Indiana State University Alumni Association. On May 2, 2009 he was inducted by the Alumni Association into the ISU Grand Society of Sycamores for Alumni graduated 50+ years at Hulman Memorial Student Union with Dr. Daniel J. Bradley, ISU President, officiating.
Howard enjoyed farming corn and soybeans on family farms upon retirement and was an avid freshwater fisherman and hunter, greatly enjoying quail hunting. He was a superior Trap & Skeet shooter at the Terre Haute Fort Harrison Skeet Club in the 70s. He enjoyed woodworking and was a highly skilled craftsman, carpenter, architect, mason / bricklayer, and metalworker. Howard built a family garage in Shelburn by himself at 14 years of age, which stood until 2007. He enjoyed ocean cruises in the Caribbean, Florida and Alaska coasts, and did much foreign travel in his later years. Howard was an accomplished musician on the coronet, a Civil War expert, and taught ISU Civil War history courses. He enjoyed owning horses and belonged to a local Saddle Club with his family.
Howard was a beloved husband, loving father, and an admired community and civic leader who will be missed more with each passing day. His wish was to be cremated. A Memorial Service in remembrance, honor, and celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 at the Shelburn United Methodist Church at 3 pm with the Rev. Russell Black officiating. Visitation is planned from 1 to 3 pm prior to the Memorial Service. No graveside service is planned. Military honors will be provided by the American Legion. Flowers are appreciated. In lieu to flowers, a Memorial contribution may be made in the "Name of Howard R. Turner" to the Shelburn United Methodist Church Building Fund, 202 N. Thomas St., Shelburn, IN 47879. Banks and Brust Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.