Peabody — Peter H. Turner, 85, beloved husband of Mary (Renda) Turner of Peabody, died peacefully at his home on Sunday, May 4, 2014, while in the comforting presence of his family.
Born in the Beachmont section of Revere, he was the son of the late Archibald and Mary (Doherty) Turner. He grew up there, and at the age of 12, began working at Suffolk Downs Race Track. He married his wife, Mary, in 1955, then in 1963, settled to raise his family in Peabody, where he had lived the last 51 years.
Mr. Turner was on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953, serving during the Korean War. He developed skills as a boxer while in the Army, and fought in numerous Golden Gloves Matches for several years into the late 1950s.
He started his 25-year career with the MBTA Tower T in Orient Heights, Boston, as an electrician in 1959. He had such a strong work ethic, that he continued working with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 of Boston until he was 70 years old and retired.
In between all his working years, his passion was training thoroughbred horses at Suffolk Downs. When he retired in 1999, he became a full-time owner and trainer.
He was a gifted musician and loved playing saxophone, and shared the stage with some old-time Jazz legends including Arthur Fiedler, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Zoot Sims, and Al Cohen. He also played in a Roma Marching Band in the North End of Boston for many of the festivals, for many years.
He will be remembered for his brilliance, memory, humor, and never-ending talents. He was a dedicated husband, father and friend, who had a generous, kind-spirited heart.
He is survived by his wife, Mary (Renda) Turner of Peabody, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage; two sons, Paul Turner and Peter Turner II, both of Peabody; a daughter, Judy Turner of Peabody; two grandchildren, Jennifer of Middleton, and Paul Turner II and his wife, Brianna, of Rowley; two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Isabelle Turner; two sisters, Lillian Webster of Charlestown, and Alice Boudreau of Saugus; a special nephew, Neil Turner of Middleton, N.H.; and other nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: Following cremation, relatives and friends are kindly invited to gather for his funeral service on Friday, May 9, at 11:30 a.m., in the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody. A visitation will be held on Thursday, from 5 to 8 p.m., in the funeral home. Urn burial will be in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Peabody. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Caring Dimensions Hospice, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. Please visit www.ccbfuneral.com for his obituary and to sign condolences.