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Richard Kenneth Turney

May 26, 2009
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Well-known local watercolor artist Ken Turney died peacefully at home on the morning of May 21, 2009. He was 97 and had just completed his memoir, The Life & Times of Watercolor Artist Ken Turney.

Born in Greensburg, Penn., on June 22, 1911 to Marcellus R. and Jennie E. Turney, he first studied art at Greensburg High School, then pursued a course of art and architecture at Carnegie Mellon Institute and the University of Pittsburgh. He married the late Dorothy V. Smith on Jan. 1, 1940 and served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 until he was honorably discharged in 1945 as a Gunner's Mate 2nd Class.

The child of two creative and talented parents, Ken then went on to a 27-year career in fashion display in Youngstown, Ohio., 20 of those years with C. Livingston & Sons. But his love of sailing led to a second career in sailboat design and sales - Ken T. Sailboats, Inc. of Boardman, Ohio - from 1973 to 1979. He was an active member of Pymatuning Yacht Club and founded Pymatuning Sailing Club in Jamestown, Penn.

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Richard Kenneth Turney

After wintering on Sanibel in 1978, he moved to Southwest Florida - Tropicana Park in Fort Myers - where he began his third career as a watercolor artist. He had many one-man shows locally as well as being part of numerous exhibitions at the Cape Coral Art Studio, the Merrick Fine Art Gallery in New Brighton, Penn., the Fort Myers Beach Art Association and BIG Arts on Sanibel. He was a member of the Florida Watercolor Society, BIG Arts, Lee County Alliance of the Arts, the Naples Art Association, the Sanibel-Captiva Art League, and the Fort Myers Beach Art Association which, in 2007, honored Ken with a retrospective of his work for his 95th birthday.

Survivors include his daughters - Pamela Richards of Bedford, Mass. and Marda Jan Gracey and her husband, Doug, of Palm Coast, Fla.; four grandsons - David Richards of Vermont and his wife, Katie, Scott Dyer of Palm Coast and his wife, Kristina, Eric Dyer of Colorado, and Kyle Dyer of Palm Coast; two great grand-daughters - Madeline Richards of Vermont and Evey Dyer of Palm Coast; a nephew - Ron Turney of Alabaster, Ala.; and a sister-in-law - Georgia Turney of Jeannette, Penn.

A private service will be held in Greensburg with intermenty at St. Clair Cemetery. A celebration of Ken's life in Southwest Florida will be scheduled for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Fort Myers Beach Art Association Scholarship Fund, Post Office Box 2359, Fort Myers Beach 33932, or to the The Hunger Relief Fund - Southwest Florida Community Foundation, 8260 College Parkway-Suite 101, Fort Myers 33919.

For information on available artwork or Ken's memoir, contact



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