LAWRENCE (SONNY) LEON TURNBAUGH JR, US ARMY, CW4 (RETIRED)
Larry fought his last battle and joined his brothers in arms May 16, 2013. After a brief illness, he developed lingering effects because of Agent Orange that he was exposed to while serving his country during the Vietnam War.
Larry was born Dec. 23, 1933, in Kansas City, Kan., to Lawrence and Virginia Turnbaugh.
He went on to graduate from Shawnee Mission High School in 1952, which fueled his desire for higher learning.
Larry took a detour from education to honorably serve his country for the next 26 years in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. He entered the USMC in 1952 and served as a Lance Corporal fighting in Korea for two years. After a brief period working as a civilian for Belger Cartage Service, he re-enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1957, and ultimately received a Warrant Officer’s Commission in 1966.
His military adventures took him overseas for two tours of duty in Vietnam, as well as Germany, France, Korea and numerous stateside duty stations, finally retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in 1980 at Fort Riley, Kan. His exemplary service is testament to the many recognitions he received while on active duty including: Good Conduct Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver and two Bronze Stars, Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Medal, Meritorious Unit Medal and the prestigious Purple Heart.
Larry continued his educational quest by obtaining a bachelor of science degree in electronic engineering from Missouri Western in 1972 and a another bachelor of science degree in education from Emporia State University in 1984.
His last employment brought him great joy as he was able to educate young minds in USD 290 school district in Ottawa, Kan., as the Industrial Arts and Drivers Education instructor.
He retired once again, to enjoy the open road in his RV, pursuing his numerous hobbies of woodworking, fishing, traveling, making new friends and reconnecting with old friends. He enjoyed spending precious moments with his children, grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Special people in his life included his surviving spouse and partner, Jan LaVonn Turnbaugh; children, Vincent Turnbaugh and wife, Collette, Victor Turnbaugh and wife, Janet, Idonna Hudgins and Lawrence (Trey), and Tonya Turnbaugh III; grandchildren, James Hudgins, Erin Webb and husband, Tyler, Jenna Turnbaugh, Jeff Hudgins, Molly Turnbaugh, Sydnie, Amber and Mayci Turnbaugh; and great-grandchild, Chyla Hudgins. Larry also leaves a brother, Bernard Turnbaugh and sister, Pat Keller. His special sense of humor and quiet strength will be deeply missed by all and especially by his beloved furry friends, Nick and Cleo.
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Pomona United Methodist Church, Pomona, Kan. Friends may pay their respects to Mr. Turnbaugh Jr. 9 a.m. Tuesday to the service hour at Dengel & Son Mortuary, where the family will meet with friends 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Interment is set for Woodlawn Cemetery, Pomona.
The family suggests memorial contributions to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital through Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory St., Ottawa KS 66067.
An online guest book is available at www.dengelmortuary.com