Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Turnley

  • Died: August 21, 2019
  • Location: Fremont, Indiana

D O McComb and Sons - Lakeside Park

1140 Lake Ave
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Tel. (260) 426-9494

Tribute & Message From The Family


ELIZABETH ANN "BETTY" TURNLEY, of Fremont, Indiana, passed away peacefully at her home August 21, 2019 at the age of 94. Born August 19, 1925 in Gary, Indiana she was the daughter of Roscoe Protsman and Gladys Protsman, both life-long school teachers.

A precocious musical talent from an early age, Betty won a scholarship to the Indiana University School of Music where she studied with Ernst Hofzimmer. A stand out in the department, she graduated with a Masters degree in piano performance. While still in graduate school, Betty married William L. Turnley Jr. who was doing post-doctoral work at the IU School of Dentistry. After stints in Washington DC and California while Bill was in the Navy, they settled in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Bill started his dental practice. When Bill returned to IU Dental School to do post-graduate work in orthodontia in the mid-sixties, Betty taught for two years in an inner city elementary school in Indianapolis. After raising a family, Betty returned to music, teaching piano and music theory at Indiana University Fort Wayne.

Two very different people, Betty and Bill complemented each other. Their 52 years of marriage were filled with laughter and rooted in shared values and interests: family, love of nature, and a sharp social conscience, among many others.

Betty and Bill shared a passion for early American antiques and folk art and especially for the wonderful and crazy fellow dealers and collectors they encountered. After retiring from teaching, Betty owned and operated Betty A. Turnley Antiques in Fremont, Indiana.

Betty was a keen and amused observer of the human comedy. Her wry sense of humor, always tempered by generosity and affection, delighted her family and friends. She had a unique ability to comfort people and, often enough, make them laugh, even in hard times. Many nights into the wee hours, she would sit at the dining room table writing long and thoughtful letters, most often to people in difficult times, letters that made people feel noticed and cared about, that helped people know that they are not alone but part of something bigger than themselves. Betty's children learned from her to work hard, laugh, love, be kind, stand with those who have less or face injustice and to be open to the different and the difficult, the messy and imperfect.

Betty is survived by her four loving and grateful children: Ann Turnley, Peter Turnley, David Turnley and Bill Turnley III; four grandchildren: Andrew Ehrenkranz, Lucy Ehrenkranz, Charlie Turnley and Dawson Turnley and one great-grandson Corey Tapp. She was preceded in death by her husband William L. Turnley Jr. and her sister Janet McKelvey.

Visitation will be from 4pm to 8pm on Monday August 26 at DO McComb & Sons Funeral Home Lakeside Park, 1140 Lake Ave, Fort Wayne, IN. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 27 in Fremont, Indiana.
Memorial donations may be given to St. Mary's Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 11383 Fort Wayne, IN 46857.

To share your thoughts and memories on the family's online guestbook visit www.domccombandsons.com