Edward Turley

Edward Emmett Turley died March 4, 2012, in Creston, B.C. Edward was born Sept. 8, 1927, to Gerald and Regina (Stovall) Turley in rural Musselshell County, Mont. He was the oldest of eight of which there were seven boys and one girl.

Edward had a long colourful history of ranching, horsemanship, boxing and quick wit, all to the end of his life. He began his first years of formal learning in the Mountain Home school 16 miles south of Musselshell, then attended 6th and 7th grade in Musselshell School proper. He did not tolerate bullies, nor people of an underhanded nature, and was known throughout his life as a defender of an underdog. Edward became interested in boxing while attending Musselshell High School and asked his father if he could attend High School in Roundup in order that he could attend a local boxing club. His parents made arrangements for him to stay with the Rediske and Rath families, among others, in Roundup. He excelled in boxing to a point that not only brought the entire Turley family to Roundup High School – to box – but also drew additional local interest in boxing. Boxing matches during the late 1940s thru the early ‘60s in Roundup drew attendance that matched basketball and football games.

Edward enlisted in the Army after graduating from High School. He also boxed and participated in a multi-military force meet. He won to a level that matched him with another, of which the winner would be allowed to participate in the 1948 Olympics. Edward and his match fought brutally the full 15 rounds and both were hospitalized for two months. The families were notified of the outcome and that they both faced possible death. Nonetheless, both survived, however, neither made the Olympic team due to the outcome. Of note is that the opponent of this brutal boxing match recuperated, and was matched in 1950 with a brother of Edward in a similar multi-military boxing match on board ship along the coast of South America. He met him, confirmed his relationship to Edward, and declined the match.

While stationed in Panama, he also began corresponding with Mary Katheryn Clark (Katie), a direct descendent of William E. Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, from Tennessee. Edward continued his correspondence with Katie, met on military leave and within one month they married.

Katie and Edward began ranching at the head of Hawk Creek in the Bull Mountains, and started their family consisting of four daughters and three sons. They purchased another ranch north of Pompey’s Pillar on Mill Creek in 1952. Edward was also a member of the Musselshell Rodeo Association and broke horses in addition to ranching. He developed a kindred horse and ranching relationship with his much younger brother Patrick, who was tragically killed in auto accident in 1961. Edward sold his Mill Creek ranch in 1962 and moved his family to the Cariboo region near Williams Lake, B.C. Edward and Katie ranched, raised their children, and gave grand attention to their grandchildren, in this region the remainder of their lives.

Edward had a mischievous smile, was quick witted in spite of his many horse and boxing injuries, and a noted prankster. His granddaughters gathered one evening and noted he was hard-headed…in more ways than one. He agreed with a wry smile, and attributed this to his Northern Ireland, County Armagh, ancient land of learning, fighting and recent “troubles,” family heritage. Of particular note is that he was also an enrolled member of the Citizen Band Potowatamie Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother’s side.

Edward was predeceased by both parents; and brothers Gerald O’Neil, Turla John “Turla,” Patrick “Pat,” and James Michael “Mike.” Katheryn “Katie,” his soul mate of 61 years, also preceded him, as well as his two beautiful daughters Judy Moon and Teresa Ali.

Edward had a lifelong appreciation and fondness for his Uncle John and Aunt Minnie (Burton), along with his five cousins of that family. Mary Cooley of Musselshell and Louise Bell of Cut Bank are the remaining survivors of that family.

He is survived by his brothers Francis and Lycurgus and his sister Adele, all of Texas. His surviving children are Marcella (Rod) Spence of Revelstoke, B.C., Ann (Richard) Olesen of Victoria, B.C., Mike (Karen) of Penticton, B.C., Clark (Dayle) of Grand Prairie, A.B., and Pat (Linda) of Campbell River, B.C. He also has 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, plus many relatives throughout the USA.

The family is holding a celebration of life for their Father on Saturday afternoon August 25th, 2012 at McIntyre Lake. The family would welcome anyone to come share stories and memories. For any further information please call Ann Olesen 250 477-3320 or by email rolesen@shaw.ca


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