William Evans “Bill” Turner, age 72, of Philadelphia, passed away on April 22, 2021.
Born in Upper Darby, PA, he was the son of the late William Emerson and Mary Janet (nee Sensenig) Turner.
Growing up, Bill had fond memories of his days in Camp Hill, PA, with his friends Johnny and Billy. They used to ride their bikes and chase fire trucks responding to calls and go to “Rakeshaw’s” for ice cream.
Bill had a very strong work ethic as after his Dad died when he was 15, he had to help support his mother and sister. Bill graduated Penn Crest High School, Class of 1966. The day after he graduated, he purchased a surf board and went to Ocean City, NJ with his best friend, Cam. After high school, and throughout college, he spent summers working in Ocean City, NJ working in an ice cream shop and as a short order cook.
Bill met the love of his life, Elizabeth Jane Hutton (BJ), in Ocean City, NJ and they immediately connected! They were married on January 31, 1970 in Elizabeth City, NC. Bill and BJ lived in Easton, PA while Bill completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at Lafayette College.
At Lafayette, he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and was on the swim and tennis teams. He had many fond memories of his fraternity days including endless hours of playing pool and bridge. Later in life, he was an active alumni advisor for the Phi Psi Fraternity. Bill graduated from Lafayette College, Class of 1971. He then received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and his MBA from University of New Haven.
Bill worked as an engineer at Westinghouse and Ingersoll Rand where he gained considerable experience in the design of gas turbines and other turbomachinery. He then went on to be an engineering manager at Teleco Oilfield Services. He traveled often for work, and always sent postcards home to show where he had been. He lived overseas for 2 years with BJ, Joe and Dan in both Singapore and Scotland.
He had an entrepreneurial spirit and had business ideas for many years, prior to starting APS. He encouraged and supported his wife, BJ, in starting her own craft store in the late 80’s. He went out of his way to support other entrepreneurs. He was an investor, mentor, and patron of countless small business where he personally knew the owners. He founded both BQ Technologies and Exocetus.
He founded APS Technology in 1993. After humble beginnings, he and his business partner, Denis Biglin, eventually grew the business to a several hundred person engineering and manufacturing company in the oilfield industry with offices worldwide.
The part he cherished more than the business growth and success, were the personal connections with each employee and their success and well-being. Bill retired from APS in 2020.
Throughout his career, he was awarded more than 30 business patents.
Bill would love marveling at engineering projects and architecture, especially bridges. He would take the family on detours to see the Roebling Bridge in NJ, Tunkhannock Viaduct to name a few. The 10-year construction project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River brought 10 years of joy to him. He loved Frank Lloyd Wright and visited many of his houses.
No trip or adventure was too daunting for Bill. He would drive everywhere and anywhere. Long drives were known as the ‘Turner Way’. He would say, “Why take a 3 hour plane ride, when you can take a 15 hour drive?” He hiked to bottom of the Grand Canyon and back in the summer with his son, Bill, in one day. On the hike out, he was blinded by the sweat in his eyes from the strenuous hike.
Bill loved to travel and camp. He did 2 cross country camping trips in his lifetime. Some camping trips included locations in Acadia, Nova Scotia, Vermont, Williamsburg, Lake Anna, Gettysburg, Disney World, Canada, Lake George, Grand Canyon of Pa.
Bill loved boating, but it seemed many trips had funny mishaps. He always overcame them and laughed later. He loved to pull the kids on water skis and tubes and would try very hard to give the wildest of rides.
Bill was a truly dedicated Dad. There are many examples of his dedication and willingness to help his kids. He would help with elaborate science projects, and enlisted his friends to help build the entire set for the St. Michael’s Middle School production of the Wizard of Oz.
He was considered a “Renaissance Man” of varying interests, as anyone who knew him could attest. He loved model trains, coin collecting, maps, postcards, stamp collecting, gardening and landscaping. He loved music and the arts. He loved the Beach boys, Mamas and the Papas, and then unique music like Firko String Band, the Mummers and the Vienna Orchestra. Bill also liked the ballet, opera, musicals and the Vienna Christmas Concert. It was one of his favorite Christmas time traditions to attend the Vienna New Year’s Concert in Philadelphia.
Bill was very generous to family and friends in need, as well as various charities. He had a very quiet compassion and generosity. For every one generous act you knew about, there were 10 more that you didn’t know about. Bill would keep a stack of Wawa gift cards sitting in the foyer, so every time he walked out of the apartment, he would hand them out to the homeless.
Bill will be especially remembered as an extremely dedicated husband and father. He helped take care of his dearest BJ during the past few years, with a loving willingness to do anything for her.
Bill was the beloved husband of Elizabeth Jane Hutton; the loving father of William Edward Turner (Carolyn Pizoli), Marianne Elizabeth Turner Rooney (Chris), Joseph Evans Turner (Maria) and Daniel Emerson Turner (Zane Bauer); the devoted grandfather of Eli Turner, Emerson Turner, William Turner, James Turner, Colin Rooney, Sean Rooney, Molly Rooney and Connor Rooney. He is survived by his sister, Judith Ellen Turner Thomas (Bill). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to his Viewing, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073, 610-353-6300. Interment Glenwood Memorial Gardens, Broomall, PA.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill’s memory would be appreciated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org or Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belford Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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