Joseph Gresham Turner III, 64, beloved husband, father, brother-in-law, and uncle passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2022. Joe was surrounded by his loving family. Beloved by many and mentor to countless, “JGT,” “Uncle Joanne,” “Uncle Doe,” will be missed by all who met him.
Joe was born May 6, 1957, in Austin, Texas to USAF Col. Joseph Gresham and Susie Doi Turner. He attended Culver Military Academy where he developed his competitive drive on Culver’s Crew Team. In 1979 received his B.S. in Geology/Earth Science from Marietta College where he continued to thrive in crew, which remained one of his passions throughout his life.
Determined to make his own way, in 1982 Joe pursued a Navy career instead of riding the coattails of his high-ranking Air Force Father. He graduated from U.S. Navy’s Officer Training School (OCS) and dutifully served until 1986, when he was honorably discharged. Joe remained life-time friends with several of his fellow Navy sailors and was extremely proud of his military service.
Among Joe’s many passions, his quest for knowledge, was most prominent and remained a constant throughout his life. In 1982 he earned his M.S. in Geology, a favored passion from his favorite alma matter – the University of Kentucky. Joe continued his education followed-up with a Civil Engineering Masters in 1991 from Cleveland State University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in 2002.
An enthusiastic spectator of collegiate and professional sports, Joe was a loyal Cleveland Browns Fan – which is challenging at best! He was also a major Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Fan, and the March Madness collegiate basketball tournament was a treasured time of year for Joe. It’s unclear if it was the actual sport he enjoyed so greatly or the brackets, bets, beer, or occasional Sky shooter with his accomplice Danielle – it was quite likely all of them combined!
Joe was an extremely dedicated employee, often clocking-in 60 hours per week. Committed to creating a positive work environment, he would voluntarily work all three shifts to gain a better understanding of his crew and how to improve teamwork and morale. Joe particularly enjoyed mentoring the young people that crossed his path through GE’s LEAD Operations Program. Joe understood the importance of giving back to the community and would organize his teams to volunteer periodically at Local Food Banks. After more than 26 years with GE and Wabtec, Joe and his wife Danielle retired to Florida.
Joe led a full life, and his regrets were few. Letting his nieces and nephews drive his car before they had common sense or were old enough to, surprisingly was not one of them. Neither was eating dried bugs just to make the kids smile, playing the princess game with his daughter Katherine – which included him wearing earrings, or allowing his nieces to do full makeovers – on numerous occasions! He didn’t even regret eating food from a gas station/convenience store with his sister-in-law Debbie – a potentially precarious incident! This was astonishing – Joe was fussy about germs and cleanliness, especially regarding food!
Joe’s broad, beautiful smile could do more than warm, it would melt your heart – returning his smile was impossible to resist. His welcoming demeanor, and genuine interest in the well-being of others was reflected in his kindness and generosity. Joe was blessed with wit – his quick-tongued, one-liners had his family and friends in stitches on a regular basis. A strong and intelligent man with a heart of gold, Joe’s memories will linger as blessings for the family and friends he left behind. Without doubt Joe has ascended and is enjoying the best wings and beer that heaven has to offer!
Joe is survived by his wife Danielle; and his children Jonathan and Katherine; brother-in-law Patrick Doptis and his wife Debbie; sister-in-law Laura DiRado; nieces and nephews Heather Collins, Elizabeth Doptis, Tyler Collins, and Rosalie, Teresa, Sophia, and Eliza DiRado; special nieces and nephews Shelby and JT Phillips and Cassie and Zach VanGorder; great nephews and nieces Michael Collins-Thorsky, Finnegan VanGorder, Madelyn Collins-Thorsky, Sydney Doptis and Ollivander VanGorder; and a very special Auntie Maureen Landwei-Hulsman.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, May 28 from 3 PM – 5 PM at Pickles N Pints 36200 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, Ohio 44094. Joe’s ashes will later be interred with his parents at the Memorial of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to PanCan.org or the SMA Foundation.
PLEASE NOTE: If planning on attending the Celebration of Life, please RSVP to Danielle at: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 9th, 2022