Joan Marsh Turner, 81

Published 8:21 am Monday, September 25, 2017

Joan Marsh Turner, 81

A lifelong learner with a passion for the arts and humanities, Joan Marsh Turner, 81, a long-time resident of San Ramon, California, passed away peacefully in her home on March 11, 2017, after suffering a stroke.

Joan was born on Jan. 19, 1936, in Freeborn County, Minnesota, the daughter of Mildred Larson Marsh and Howard Ethmer Marsh. A Minnesotan through and through, she grew up near Albert Lea, Minnesota, graduated from Austin High School, and attended Carleton College before earning her degree in history from the University of Minnesota in 1958.

In 1968 Joan wed the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Turner, a native of San Francisco. Bob’s career running PXs on U.S. Army bases brought them to U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg, Germany, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and Fort Knox, Kentucky, before they retired first to Loon Lake in the Great North Woods of Minnesota, and then San Ramon, where she lived for 28 years after Bob’s passing in 1990.

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Joan was a world traveler, intellectual, poet and a gifted writer. She especially loved the plays and life of Eugene O’Neill, serving as a docent at the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, in Danville California. She wrote verse and haiku poetry and studied the culture and philosophy of the Far East throughout her life. For many years, she attended classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

Survivors include nephews, Howard Marsh (Lauren) of Franklin, Kentucky, and Christopher Marsh of Chicago, Illinois; nieces, Kimberley Marsh of Winnetka, Illinois, and Courtney Chapin of Washington, D.C. She was great aunt to Bill and Sam Coffey, Jeremiah and Grace Chapin; and beloved cousin to Betty and John Nowicki of Burnsville, Minnesota.

Joan was preceded in death by her brother, Jeremiah Marsh; aunts, Vera Tiede and Charlotte Schmidthuber; and uncles, Woodrow and Garwood Larson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House. To honor Joan, the family requests that each of you celebrate your own life by reading a book or writing a story.

A committal service Joan will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at the San Francisco National Cemetery, 1 Lincoln Boulevard, Presidio of San Francisco, California, to be followed by a celebration of life luncheon from 1- 3 p.m. at Luna Loca Restaurant, 500 Sycamore Valley Road West, Danville, California. All are welcome.

The Wilson & Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon is assisting the family. To sign the guest book, go to