John Carlton Turner, Sr., age 81, died peacefully on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. His cherished wife Roselee was by his side.
Born in Sacramento, California, on July 3, 1941, John attended St. Francis and Pasadena High Schools, followed by Pasadena City College and National University, where he earned his degree in business. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1960, earning the rank of Sergeant and serving for six years, including two combat tours in the Vietnam War. He remained a patriot throughout his life and was committed to the uniquely American principles of freedom, independence, and personal responsibility and applied them to everyday life.
On August 1, 1964, John married Roselee Herman, the love of his life, and dedicated wife of nearly 59 years. John was known to say that the two best decisions he ever made were serving his country and marrying Roselee. His deep respect for our country and devotion to his wife set the example for the family and life they would go on to build together.
John and Roselee began their civilian life after his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, and they soon welcomed JT and Alicia. In business, he was known as a servant leader whose hard work, studious professionalism, and focus on always doing the right thing were hallmarks of his work life.
The Dal-Tile Years
John is closely identified with his more than 30-year career at the Dal-Tile Corporation, where he rose to become vice president. He retired from his role as the leader of the ceramic tile industry’s first and most-innovative architectural sales force, a position he thoroughly enjoyed. John’s outgoing personality, sense of humor, and commitment to his team and customers, coupled with his sharp business acumen, made him the consummate sales leader.
“Dal-Tile Corporation and the National Tile Contractors Association have enjoyed a long-standing relationship in the industry,” said NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga. “The Turner family is a big part of that story. When the NTCA made a commitment to expand its training footprint several years ago, it was John (Sr.) who supported that effort, along with his son JT and John Cousins (President of Dal-Tile at the time). Working closely together, we not only increased the number of programs we offered in their stores, but we also launched successful regional training programs on important industry initiatives like gauged porcelain tile panels and slabs. This relationship continues today, and it is in large part thanks to the work of John Turner, Sr. But he was so much more integral to our association than his support of our programs. He and his wife Roselee were fixtures at our events, like our Five-Star Contractor dinners and Total Solutions Plus. Everywhere they went, you would find a throng of our members around them, enjoying not only business but life discussions. John and Roselee were magnetic in that way, and all of us at NTCA, from our staff to our contractor members who were blessed with the opportunity to get to know them, will cherish the moments we had with them. John and his family leave a legacy in our industry we all are proud to be a part of.”
“My father was an advocate for the customer throughout his career;” said John Turner, Jr. (JT). “It was his deep-seated belief in earning our customers’ business that first drove him to partner with the NTCA. Over the decades, the relationships he enjoyed with the NTCA leadership, its members and supplier partners grew into many of his most personal friendships.”
John and Roselee lived in Southern California, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Rockwall, Texas, before settling into retirement in La Quinta at PGA West nine years ago. They made deep and meaningful friendships throughout their lives, most recently in the desert communities, and became active in the Palm Springs Corvette Club.
However, it is in John’s dedication to his family that his light shines the brightest. Known to prioritize his children and grandchildren’s life events and for his unwavering guidance, affection, and support of his wife and extended family, he will be remembered as a deeply loving and selfless man. John was an exceptional father, mentor, and friend who lived by example and was admired by all those who knew him. His most joyous times were shared with his family traveling, enjoying sporting events, celebrating grandkids’ milestones and holidays, and participating in his Catholic faith. He died knowing he was in the arms of our Lord and on his way to reuniting with those he loved who passed before him. His family will always miss his wry wit, spirit of fun, and the ever-present twinkle in his eye.
John is survived by his children John “JT” Carlton Turner, Jr. (Carrie) of Dallas, Texas, and Alicia Turner Lund (Edward) of Pasadena, Calif.; his six beloved grandchildren: John Carlton Turner, III; Robert Henry Turner; Cal Joseph Turner; Thomas Allen Lund; Kayla Rose Lund; and Michael John Lund; and his much-loved sister Sarah Turner Aronno (Robert) of Lodi, Calif. JT and Alicia are grateful that their children, who reside in Oregon, Washington, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California, were able to travel to his bedside, and be with their grandpa during his final hours.
A funeral Mass and Celebration of Life reception will be held on Friday, July 21 at 10:00 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in La Quinta, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the United States Marine Corps Semper Fi Fund (thefund.org) or to Martha’s Village and Kitchen (marthasvillage.org).