Robert E. Turney
Robert Edmund Turney, 89, of Traverse City, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 at Cordia in Grand Traverse Commons while surrounded by his loving family. Rob was born on Dec. 27, 1929 at Park Farm in Brixworth, England.
He married Peggy Anne Sheppard on Aug. 20, 1955 in the village of Old, England. They had two daughters, Carol (Russ) Shipley and Sarah (Barton) Faylor. They lived in a number of places, from Kenilworth and Thorpe Bay, England, to the other side of the Atlantic in Rosedale Park, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills.
After purchasing their beloved "barn" in Leelanau County in 1983, they finally fulfilled their dream of moving there permanently in 1990. In 200, the second "Turney barn" was lovingly built further up the hill on Darwin Road. For the past three and a half years they enjoyed a full and active life at Cordia in Traverse City.
Rob graduated from Luthborough College in Leicester. He began his engineering career at Armstrong Siddeley (Rolls Royce), moving on to the Ford Motor Tractor Company, where he worked for 25 years. Ford moved him from Essex, England, to Troy in the 1970s.
He treasured his five granddaughters, Megan Shipley (Thomas Cook), Claire Shipley, Emma Shipley (Ben Roos), Sydney Faylor and Sophie Faylor. Much to his delight, his first great grandchild, Ruthie Cook, was born in 2016. His devoted four legged companions included Tinker, Chloe, Pickel, Daisy and Millie.
Rob was the epitome of the definition of an English gentleman, despite years of residence in the States. He loved the countryside and tending to his garden; he would read books voraciously (no subject went unturned); they collected art from their travels or supported local artists they admired; he could recite poetry at any given moment; he was a "Mr. Fix It" extraordinaire; ... but mostly, he was loved for his kind, generous, humorous and humble nature. Family was everything to him.
He was a lifelong member of the SAE and IMechE. He helped establish the Glen Arbor Art Association and was president for seven years. He was chairman of the board at the Grand Traverse Community Foundation and he shared his skills with many nonprofits throughout his life.
He and Peg lived a 64-year marriage filled with love and respect, with some patience and good humor mixed in. They were never happier than when they were with family or hosting friends at their farmhouse kitchen table.
Rob is survived by his wife, Peg; his siblings, Richard (Mo) Turney and Kate (Ian ) Wilson; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Katharine and Edmund Turney; and two siblings, Margaret (John) Burt and John (Sue) Turney.
A celebration of Rob's life will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Suttons Bay Congregational Church. The Rev. Dr. Robin Carden will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Traverse City Salvation Army, PO Box 5228, Traverse City, MI 49696-5228; and/or Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, 223 Lake Ave., Ste B, Traverse City, MI 49684.
Please share condolences with Rob's family at
Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Leelanau.
Published on November 17, 2019


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Sara Shelley
Nov 21, 2019
Beautiful in Blue was purchased for the family of Robert E. Turney by Sara Shelley.  Send flowers