Bernadette Florence “Bernie” Turner, age 79, of Jefferson City, MO passed away Friday, September 30, 2022. She died suddenly and peacefully from complications of cancer a few weeks after her diagnosis.
She was born on December 15, 1942 in Todd’s Mill, IL the daughter of Louis John Suchomski and Hedwig “Hattie” Josephine (Ochap) Suchomski. She was married on July 25, 1974 in Pinckneyville, IL to James Henry Turner, Sr. who preceded her in death.
A lifelong resident of Earth, Bernie earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mathematics from St. Louis University and was ABD in the Mathematics Education PhD program at University of Missouri, Columbia.
As a Franciscan nun in St. Louis and Omaha, Bernie “Sister Audrey” taught elementary, middle, and high school. When she was given a special dispensation to leave the order, she began teaching high school in the St. Louis area. In Colorado, she taught at several community colleges, but spent most of her years at Pikes Peak Community College. In 1986, she relocated to Jefferson City, MO where she taught for 28 years at Lincoln University before retiring at the rank of Full Professor. Her research and work were mainly in Mathematics Education and Geometry, and she presented regularly at local and national conferences for teachers of mathematics, including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Missouri Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She worked with many future teachers during her time at Lincoln University and passionately supported emerging teachers/scholars.
Bernie frequently spoke of the importance of love and her faith in God, and she did her best to spread joy to others. She loved creative arts, including painting, quilting, embroidery, and sewing. And she even published some of her own original poetry. Bernie loved making things and connecting with people. Ever the care-taker, even in her last few days, she showed love, support, and encouragement to the nurses and staff taking care of her. Bernie also loved to entertain and would often catch people off-guard with her off-beat, whimsical, goofball sense of humor. She was a big fan of Carrot Top and prop comedy. Her favorite prop was a pair of Groucho Marx glasses. She loved her family and was an excellent mother and grandmother.
Survivors include her son James H. Turner, Jr. (wife, Ashley Wilson) of University City, MO; her two daughters Kathleen Turner Ledgerwood (husband, Charlie Ledgerwood) of Jefferson City, MO and Ruth Ann Turner (fiancé, Matthew Eversole) of Clayton, MO; one grandson CJ Ledgerwood and one granddaughter on the way; three beloved granddogs Ginger Snap, Mr. Bing Lee, and Hagrid; four brothers Adam Suchomski of Springfield, IL, Laurence Suchomski (wife, Joann) of Knoxville, TN, Gerald Suchomski (wife, Linda) of Nashville, TN, and Richard Suchomski (wife, Nancy) of Savoy, IL; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and loving family and friends.
Preceded in death by her loving husband, James H. Turner, Sr.; parents Louis and Hattie Suchomski; brother Sylvester Suchomski; and three sisters-in-law Audrey Suchomski, Rosemary Suchomski, and Lois Suchomski.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at Freeman Mortuary with the service to follow at 3:00 pm with Deacon John Schwartze officiating.
An additional visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 14, 2022 at the St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Todd’s Mill, Illinois. A Mass of Christian Burial will immediately follow the visitation at 10:00 a.m. with the Reverend Carl Schrage officiating. Committal service and Interment to follow in St. Mary Magdalen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Building Community Bridges, PO Box 95, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.