Beverly Perkins Turner
b. 6/30/1926 d. 4/22/2021
Beverly Jean MacDonald (nee Edna Beverly) was born in Fort Covington, NY on June 30, 1926 to Lottie Margaret MacDonald and George Harold MacDonald, the fourth of four children. Robert, Webster, and Stewart were her older brothers.
Both of her parents died by 1941. An opportunity developed for Beverly to be adopted by Ray and Margaret (Pearl) Perkins in nearby Malone, NY, which she accepted with her brother Robert’s blessing. She described this event as a great blessing and the beginning of a new and better life.
She graduated from Franklin Academy in Malone in 1945 and matriculated to Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, into the nursing program, and graduated in 1949.
On June 25, 1949, she married John L. Turner, also from Malone. They had met while he was attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, also in Troy, NY. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1949 and had served in the Army Air Corps as a meteorologist at Keflavik AFB near Reykjavik Iceland. He was valedictorian of the class of 1942 at Franklin Academy.
The young couple moved to Newton, MA in the Boston area where John had employment with EG&G.
Shortly after, they moved to nearby Needham, where they lived till 1975. Five boys arrived starting in 1952 with David, followed by Frederick (Fred), Gregory (Greg), Mark, and William (Bill) by 1958.
All was well during these years. They were active members of Carter Memorial Methodist Church. Beverly was an active member of the Women’s Society. In addition to the large task of raising five boys, she also pursued a part time career as a nurse with the local Visiting Nurse Association.
Beverly was also was involved in Fair Housing in Needham and was instrumental in changing the outlook of the community to minorities who wished to settle in Needham and raise their families there.
They made numerous friends with other families also raising children. The Keays, Sells, Ericksons, Fedjes, Raymonds, Sawyers, and more were a tightly knit group. These families all knew that each holiday and life celebration would be done together.
In 1963, the family purchased a vacation property in Barnstable. Located just one hundred yards from the beach, these cottages provided an outlet and respite from a busy life. Beverly became known for her friendly smile and delicious quahog chowder.
In 1969, the tragic death of David as a senior at Needham High School (NHS) was a severe blow to the entire family and the community. Even so, blessings for others stemmed from this event, evidence of John and Beverly’s compassion for others. David’s corneas were donated so another’s sight was restored. A scholarship fund was developed in his name for NHS graduates who were dedicated to service to others and were in financial need. This scholarship has continued to provide needed funds even to the present day.
Beverly was nominated to join the PEO sisterhood in the early 1970's. PEO is a women's organization passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. She was an active member for many years, and among other work for the organization, opened her home up to traveling PEO members.
In the spring of 1975, John parted with his Boston area employment and joined a company in Sunnyvale, CA. During the next fifteen months, the couple were split apart by distance. Beverly and Bill spent the summer in California with John. In the fall, Beverly and Bill returned to Needham for Bill’s senior year. Beverly took a position with the Katherine Gibbs school in Boston.
After Bill’s graduation, John and Beverly moved into a home in Sunnyvale. After two years there, they purchased a home over the mountains toward Santa Cruz, in Scotts Valley. During these years, vacation was scheduled each August to the cottage on the Cape.
In the summer of 1999, the couple celebrated 50 years of marriage with a large celebration with many longtime friends and family.
They lived together in Scotts Valley till John’s passing in 2001. Beverly stayed on until 2014, when she decided to move to Yarmouth Port on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, to the independent living facility, Heatherwood. Many good friends were left behind in this difficult choice.
With the advance of COVID19 in March 2020, she moved back to the family cottage in Barnstable. Greg joined her from his home in Waltham, MA to provide her with the help and assistance she needed. Her health continued to decline, with several visits to the hospital for heart problems, pneumonia, and other ailments. Here she was amidst friends from many decades.
One last round of heart problems in March 2021 brought Beverly home to hospice care on April 12. Many friends visited her to pay their last respects.
Beverly was predeceased by her three brothers (Robert, Webster, and Stewart) , her husband (John), son David, and daughter-in-law Deborah (married to Mark). She is survived by her sons Fred (and Julie), Greg, Mark, and Bill (and Amy), eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Beverly’s life is tentatively scheduled for this September.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes any memorial contributions be made in Beverly's name to Cottey College, 1000 W Austin Blvd. Nevada, MO 64772.
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