Chester A. Turner
I was born to my father and mother, Sylvester Turner and Alta H. Holland Turner, in Stroud, Oklahoma on June 21, 1924 in my home. I had one older sister, Ethel Dena Turner Caudle. My father, Sylvester, worked for the Civil Service Conservation for the U.S. Government. He also was an accomplished carpenter and made many pieces of small furniture that are still in my home. He even built a desk for someone in government with the original Presidential seal on the front that is dated back to 1954, while President Truman was in office. Alta, my mother, was a homemaker; however, she did work at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma, as an assembler during World War 11. She also would at times go and preach for her parents' family get-togethers in Stillwell, Oklahoma, which was in the Pentecostal Holiness denomination. This is where I learned about my belief in God and Christian values. When my father, Sylvester, went to the CCC's, my mother went to work in a hotel in Maud. We lived in the hotel at that time while my mother served as cook for the hotel. I went to Kindergarten in Maud at Roosevelt Elementary. I had to walk about a mile to the school across my Grandpa Holland's land. As I grew older, I did odd jobs. I remember picking cotton with fiends in Maud to make money. I also went to the city dump which was a mile from my home and would dig through the dump to find copper wire or anything I could sell for cash. Sometimes we would go to the movies which only cost 10 cents. I also recall visiting my cousins that lived nearby. They were both bootleggers. They never were bothered by the law, because their families' were so large, the sheriff needed their votes. I then went to high school and attended through the 11" grade. On one particular school day, I was asked to write a report which I completed. However, the teacher said in order to receive a grade, I had to read it in front of the class. I told her that wasn't the assignment she had asked for in the first place, so I left that day and never came back. I had been working in the evenings at the school as custodian for money. As I left the school building, I told the Principal, I was leaving - he just looked at me. Sometime after that, I rode the bus to Seminole and then signed up for the Navy on October 19, 1942, just 4 months after turning 18. I was in the Navy for 3 years, 3 months, and 8 days. I received electrical training from the Navy and was sent to various places for schooling. One of the places I received training was in Great Lakes, Illinois. I also trained at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA better known by the guys as "Valley Jo". I remember you could see Alcatraz prison from the shipyard. I also attended the U.S. Naval Training School in Electrical studies at Morehead State Teachers College in Morehead, Kentucky and completed my classes there on 27 day of March, 1943. I attended school at Camp Peary in Virginia, too. I received my completed training as an electrician's mate on March 3, 1944 on board the U.S.S. Salt Lake City. I remember that at one point, in my spare time, I did take dance lesson at a dance school. After, I boarded the U.S.S. Salt Lake City which was stationed in California for repairs. Then the ship went to the Battle of the Komandorski Islands and was hit by Japanese shells. We continued to the Aleutian Campaign until September, and then went back to Hawaii to prepare to seize the Gilbert Islands lrl'1943. We traveled to Iwo Jima to rid the islands of the Japanese. They began shooting from a train engine that was inside a tunnel of the mountain, but the gunners on the ship destroyed the train and the entire entrance to the funnel, leaving no Japanese behind. I remember seeing the flag-raising of the Marines on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. I received an honorable discharge on January 20, 1946, and left the Navy and went to Oklahoma City. While in the Navy, I also was awarded the Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and a Philippine Liberation Campaign Ribbon. After leaving the Navy, I went to Central High School in Oklahoma City to finish my high school education and received my diploma on May 24, 1946. I finished my schooling in 3 months. I then was hired to work for Western Electric as an electrician and retired from Western Electric on December 1, 1983 after 36 years of service and received a gold watch. I met Virginia Strickland in the early 50's through her sister, Marlie Barnhart and mutual friends. Virginia was from Martin's Mill, Texas, but was living in Oklahoma City with her sister. After dating for a short time, Virginia moved back to Texas and I transferred to Houston to work. I would visit Virginia in Athens, Texas, on the weekends where she lived with a friend. We dated for a while, but not long after she had moved back to Texas, we decided to get married. We got married in Ben Wheeler, Texas, at Hobbs Baptist Church. Virginia's father and mother, Luther Boyd Strickland and Lottie Francis Strickland, had built the church on land that they had owned. We married on January 27,195I. We moved to Dallas to live for a while and then moved back to Oklahoma City and lived in the north part of the city. Later, we built our own home in Del City. We had three children; a son, Rodney Max Turner on September 29, 1953; daughter, Brenda Gay Turner Mayfield on May 22, 1957; and daughter, Darla Lynette Turner Czeropski on May 26,1962. Our family attended Southwest Church of God, later named Southern Hills Church of God. Virginia and I still attend services there each week. Another marked event was when I had Triple Bi-pass surgery. This was at Baptist Hospital on April 3, 1983. I lived! And now I'm almost 84! We now have our home in South Oklahoma a City, near our church. I spend my time going to church, doing outside yard work, and keeping things up around the house. I also enjoy getting a hair cut by Jigs Wingo, watching television and taking an afternoon nap in my comfortable recliner and eating M & M's. On occasion, we traveled to Texas to visit Virginia's sister, Annette Hiller and her brother, Buck Strickland; I have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. My son, Rodney Turner, works for the U.S. Post Office and lives in North Oklahoma City. My daughter, Brenda Mayfield is married to Curtis Mayfield. They reside in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma. They have two children, Patrick Mayfield, married to Melissa and Natalie Mayfield. My daughter, Darla Czeropski is married to Paul. They reside in Overland Park, Kansas. They have 5 children, Jenny Stiner, Evan Stiner, Andy Czeropski, Nathan Czeropski, Deianna Czeropski and Caleb Czeropski. Virginia and Chester moved to Kansas October 8,2O11 to live with Paul and Darla Czeropski. Chester passed away on January 12,2O12 at 5:40 pm in his home in Overland Park, Kansas, after dealing with the side affects of Alzheimer’s. Virginia was by his side when he fell asleep and went to be with his Lord Jesus.