Cover photo for Richard "Rick" Turner's Obituary
Richard "Rick" Turner Profile Photo
1936 Richard 2021

Richard "Rick" Turner

February 7, 1936 — January 30, 2021

Richard Tad Turner, age 84, of Rochester, MN died Saturday January 30, 2021 at Cottagewood in Rochester, MN of natural causes. Rick was born George Charlton McKay on February 7, 1936 in Inglewood, CA, to Mabel Edith McKay (Poole) and Leo Murdock McKay. Following his parent's divorce, Rick was adopted by his Mother's husband Emmitt B. Turner in Springfield, IL in 1943. Rick grew up in Springfield and Lake City, IL, and graduated from Feitshans HS in Springfield in 1953. He joined the United States Air Force in 1955 and attended basic training at Lackland AF Base in San Antonio. In 1956, Rick was assigned as a Fire Control System technician on the F-102 aircraft at Lowery AFB Denver. In Denver, Rick developed his love of snow skiing, and in 1957 he was transferred to McChord AFB in Tacoma, WA and then to his final assignment at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK. Following his Honorable Discharge from the Air Force in 1959, Rick started his career with Burroughs corporation in Springfield, IL. In August 1960, Rick met Barb through an introduction by Barb's Aunt. They were married December 29, 1961 in Quincy, IL. In January 1961, Rick and Barb moved to Carbondale, IL and Rick enrolled at Southern Illinois University. While at SIU, he developed interest and skills in photography, and took photos as a side job. After Rick took an introductory computer course and went to work at the SIU Computing Center, he found his calling as a computer programmer. Rick graduated from SIU in June 1964 with a BA in Math with a Physics minor and began his career at IBM. Following IBM training in Bethesda, MD, Rick and Barb moved to Omaha, NE to work on IBM's USAF SAC account at Offut AFB. Rick's son Mike was born in Omaha on December 9, 1964. In June 1965, he took an exciting IBM assignment working on NASA projects and the family moved to Deer Park, TX just outside of Houston. Rick was fortunate enough to do IBM work as part of NASA's Gemini and Apollo programs. In 1967, Rick got a new IBM assignment in their Government division, and the family moved to Creve Coeur, MO in July. It was at IBM St. Louis that Rick began extensive work on IBM's Data Management / Systems Engineer capabilities, which would lay the groundwork for multiple patents he developed for IBM and for the world-renowned computer consulting expertise he would develop later in his career. Rick's daughter Pam was born in St. Louis on July 17, 1967. In 1973, IBM asked Rick to move to their Rochester, MN laboratory and manufacturing facility to work on the IBM System/38 as a Systems Engineer. In 1980, he accepted an IBM assignment at State Farm's headquarters in Bloomington, IL. Following a short one-year relocation to Bloomington, the family returned to Rochester. Upon his return to IBM Rochester, Rick began his System Performance work at IBM, which would encompass the remainder of his IBM and private consulting career. He became one of the world's foremost experts on AS/400 Systems Performance. Rick's role with IBM took him to countries across Europe and Southeast Asia as he assisted both local IBM offices and large customers. Rick also became an established technical magazine author and published technical books on the AS/400 operating system. Rick retired from IBM in 1993 to start his own AS/400 Performance Consulting firm. He did extensive US and International work with IT departments for large companies. Rick partnered with Malaysian-based Silverlake, and beginning in 1995 he worked extensively on location with Silverlake's clients in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. He developed a Performance Analysis class for IBM and taught clients on location in Australia and China as well as the U.S. After an illustrious, substantial and very impactful career, Rick permanently retired in 2013. In 2008, Rick went on a personal mission to locate his half-sister Linda Heritage (McKay), and made contact with her and other members of his family that year. Although late in life, the connection to his sister Linda was a source of great joy that he valued immensely. Rick served two terms as the President of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rochester and was a faithful and supportive member of Zumbro Lutheran Church. He valued his faith and relationship with the Lord. He was an intensely passionate and avid golfer and long-time member of the Eastwood Men's Club. He was always very appreciative of the City of Rochester's excellent courses and the terrific Golf Professionals, Greens Keepers, and great staff who made it easy to enjoy his life's sports passion. He deeply valued the friendships with his golfing partners. Rick also was a Rochester Youth Hockey referee for 11 years, and especially enjoyed referring with his son Mike later in his career. Rick is survived by his wife Barbara Jean Turner (Maiers), half-sister Linda Heratige (McKay) of Tucson, AZ, son Michael Andrew Turner (Kim) of Woodstock, IL, daughter Pamela Christine Sweere (Jim) of Lakeville, MN, grandchildren Jordan Richard Turner, Joshua Michael Turner, Laura Elizabeth Sweere, Samuel James Sweere and his nieces, nephews, and other family members. A private Committal service will be held for immediate family on Saturday, February 6th at Zumbro Lutheran. A Memorial Service and celebration of Rick's life will be held on Saturday May 22nd at 11:00am at Zumbro Lutheran Church with a reception immediately following. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Zumbro Lutheran Church or to Channel One Food Bank. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Turner family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit
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Saturday, May 22, 2021

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