Nancy K. Turner – West Central Tribune

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Nancy K. Turner, 77, of Willmar, died Friday, October 7 at CentraCare Therapy Suites.

A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a celebration of life service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 28 at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. In lieu of flowers, Nancy wished for donations to the Kandiyohi County Humane Society or your favorite animal shelter. www.petersonbrothers.com

Nancy was born in Glenwood, MN on February 3, 1945, to Herman and Helen Philipsen and lived in Brooten, MN throughout her childhood and school years. She graduated from Brooten High School in 1963, where she played in the drum corps and was Homecoming Queen in her senior year. She went to school in Park Rapids, MN to become a medical laboratory technician.

Nancy married Jim Vegoe of Glenwood in 1964. Nancy and Jim had 3 children while living in various areas including Illinois (Naval Base Great Lakes), Minneapolis, Memphis and Atlanta. Nancy returned to the Brooten/Belgrade area with her children and her second husband, Sam Wade, in 1973.

Nancy worked at the nursing home in Belgrade for many years, then returned to school for agribusiness at Ridgewater College in the early 1980s. She sold food for Supersweet Feeds after graduating in agricultural trade.

In 1984 Nancy met Woody (George) Turner of Brooten, and a year later they were married in Kalispell, Montana. Nancy and Woody love Montana and nature. For many years they took an annual trip to Montana, visiting their favorite places – Bear Tooth Pass, Chief Joseph Pass, Red Lodge, Yellowstone Park and Glacier National Park. Montana was truly their happy place, and they made many happy memories there, including Nancy who brought home tumbleweeds and stones to decorate their home.

Nancy and Woody moved to their current home outside of Willmar, MN in 1985. They loved being out of town, loving the many trees in the backyard overlooking a pond, and the deer and many visiting birds including chickadees, hummingbirds, orioles, juncos, finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers (even Pileated) and the occasional Mr. and Mrs. Grosbeak.

Nancy’s love for animals was also very evident in the work she did with the Kandiyohi County Animal Humane Society and at Fancy Coats Pet Grooming. Nancy and Woody took dogs into their home, and sometimes failed, where they ended up keeping the foster dog. Nancy passed on her love and knowledge of birds, animals and nature to her children, who also took up these hobbies.

Nancy loved visiting family and friends, having coffee and reminiscing on happy memories and laughing. One of Nancy’s best friends nicknamed her “Laughing-Eyed Nancy” – and it surely suits her.

Nancy retired from her job as a retail clerk at Wal-Mart in 2012, where she enjoyed seeing local people she knew and meeting others. In the years after her retirement, and as her breathing became more difficult due to her COPD, she particularly enjoyed sitting in the large chair in the dining room looking out the French windows and enjoying the sight and watching the animals. Their trusty rescue terrier, Lucy, would sit with her for hours.

Nancy was admitted to Rice Hospital in Willmar on the evening of September 21, 2022 and about a week later transferred to Willmar Care Center where the wonderful staff provided heartwarming care and support. They have been a boon to Nancy and her family.

Nancy is survived by her husband: Woody (George) Turner, of Willmar; children: Amy (Tom) Stocking of Eagan, Stephanie Vegoe of Fairfax, Georgina Turner of Foley and Paul Vegoe of Burnsville; grandchildren: Reece Kopacek, McKenzie Stocking, Emily (Zach) Malecha and Josh, Dustin and Hailey Kotzenmacher; great-grandchildren: Aden and Emmet Malecha; brothers: Gary (Helen) Philipsen of Pueblo, CO; Warren (Muriel) Philipsen of Aurora, CO; sister: Joy (Darrell) Rooney of Belgrade; several nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends.

Nancy was predeceased by her parents.

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