Billy Joe Turrell, 83, of Colby, died Friday, May 17, 2019, at Citizens Medical Center, Colby. He was born May 4,1936 North of Rexford, KS to Joseph and Avis May (Phillips)Turrell. He was the youngest of six children, sisters Lola Skiles and Blanche Cheney, brothers Clifford, Clyde and Donald.
Billy was the only one that graduated from high school. He played basketball and volleyball and graduated in 1955 from Rexford high school.
On July 29,1970, Billy married Patricia (Heaton).
He worked for various farmers before going to work for the Rock Island railroad. He worked for them until they folded in the early 80’s. Billy then worked for the Burlington Northern and ended his 36-year career with the Kyle Railroad.
He was forced to retire after knee surgery that prevented him from working. He also underwent pancreatic cancer surgery in 1994. He was given a clean bill of health due to the Whipple surgery that saved his life. Billy was given many more years to enjoy his children and grandchildren. God again spared his life when he had a perforated ulcer where they had attached his intestine to his stomach. Dr Fercha and Dr Hildyard saved his life.
Billy began delivering meals on wheels almost ten years ago. He enjoyed visiting with the people. He began caring for the lawn in front of the Senior Center. He took pride in making it look just as well as his own yard. Billy was a home body.
Never wanting to go too far from home. He did take two cruises to Alaska with the family. He had his first plane ride in 2013 when we went the first time. His second plane ride he didn’t remember because he was flown to Denver for aspirating in August 2015. Again, God spared his life. He returned to his activities. They took another family cruise to Alaska in 2017. He got to ride two trains and see many more animals.
In later years he was unable to hear, but he still enjoyed his KU Jayhawks. He had a large collection of Jayhawks items that were given to him by his stepson Mike, grandson Brendon and his nephew Mike Skiles.
He also collected many railroad items. His grandson Hunter and granddaughter Isabella gave him a train related Christmas ornament ever year.
He loved bowling and bowled on a team many years until he had the knees replaced. In later years he enjoyed playing cards with his friends at the center.
He also took great pride in detailing his cars and truck. Pat always had the cleanest car on the school parking lot.
Billy loved his animals. He pampered them, but as a child he used to torment the farm cats.
He raised a garden, and gave most of the harvest away to friends and neighbors.
Billy was a very kind, caring husband, father, grandfather and was always willing to help anyone who needed a helping hand.
He is survived by his wife Pat, Colby, KS; his daughter Jeannie Marten(Pat), Hays, KS;sons, Mike Clair (Marilynn), Lawrence, KS, and Thomas Joe Turrell(Sara) Byers, CO; grandsons, Brendon Clair, Lawrence, KS, and Hunter Turrell, Byers, CO; granddaughter Isabella Turrell, Byers, CO, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Avis Turrell; his siblings, Lola Skiles, Blanche Cheney, Clifford, Clyde and Donald; brothers-in-law, William Cheney and Allen Skiles; sisters-in-law, Phyllis Turrell, Frances Turrell, Velma Turrell, Salliane Turrell and Bonnie Cox; four nephews, Tommy Korte, John Cheney, Earl Cheney and Frank Skiles, and his special friend Kenneth Theiler.
Visitation is 5-7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at Baalmann Mortuary, Colby. Funeral Service is 10:00 a.m. Wednesday May 22, 2019 at the Colby United Methodist Church, with burial in Beulah Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Senior Progress Center, in Colby, in care of Baalmann Mortuary, P.O. Box 391, Colby, KS 67701. For condolences out information visit www.baalmannmortuary.com