Turner, William Dean (1885-1955)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM DEAN TURNER: born at Stafford in 1885. After a brief business career he followed his father, the Rev. William Turner, into the Primitive Methodist ministry, and was at Hartley College 1910-12, where he was the college organist.

He served with great acceptance in circuits at Rhosymedre, Enfield, High Wycombe, Luton, Barrowford, Wellington, Lichfield and Brownhills, Willenhall, Maidstone, Medway Towns, and St. Albans, retiring in 1951. Some of his best work was done in Maidstone during the 1939-45 war, when he served the men in H.M. Forces and also did duty as a prison chaplain. There, in one of the most vulnerable parts of the country, he needed and drew confidently upon the great qualities of physical courage and character he possessed. 

His varied gifts were always at the service of the Church. He will be vividly remembered for his recitals, for the craftsman’s skill he exercised in his hobby of printing, and for the generosity with which he used his talents. But, above all, he will be remembered as a cheerful and inspiring colleague, a diligent pastor and friend to his people, a sound and capable administrator, and a preacher who delighted in proclaiming with winsome urgency and appeal the good news of his Lord and Saviour. 

He was called to higher service on 11th February 1955, in the seventieth year of his age and the forty-third of his ministry.

Family

William was born on 9 May 1885 at Stafford, Staffordshire, to parents William Turner, a PM minister, and Sarah Jane Dean.

He married Elsie May Lane in the summer of 1916 at Enfield, Middlesex. Birth records identify one child.

  • Sylvia May (b1927)) – married David H Biggs in 1949

William died on 11 February 1955 at Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1912 Rhosymedre
  • 1914 Enfield
  • 1916 High Wycombe
  • 1918 Luton I
  • 1922 Barrowford
  • 1927 Wellington
  • 1928 Lichfield
  • 1933 Brownhills
  • 1934 Willenhall
  • 1936 Maidstone
  • 1938 Medway Towns
  • 1940 Maidstone
  • 1947 St Albans
  • 1951 Worthing (S)

References

Methodist Minutes 1955/135

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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