Cover photo for David E. Turner's Obituary
David E. Turner Profile Photo
1934 David 2023

David E. Turner

February 15, 1934 — September 17, 2023

David E. Turner, age 89, passed away September 17, 2023 in Albuquerque, NM. Delivered by his grandmother, he was born February 15, 1934 in Portales, NM  

David was preceded in death by his father and mother, James Taft (JT) and Edith Turner, brother Wayne Turner, sisters Juanita Payne and Waunema Hyman.  Surviving family members include his wife of 31 years Lucia Turner, Albuquerque, NM; brother Jim (Betty) Turner, VT; brother Dwight (Carol) Turner, Canyon, TX; sons Spencer (Corrine) Turner, Pleasant Hill, NM; Steve (Sandy) Turner, Tijeras, NM; daughter Teresa (TJ) Parks, Hobbs, NM; step-daughter Susan Barranca (Rick), Albuquerque, NM; and lifelong friend David Childers, Amarillo, TX.  His grandchildren: 

Seneca Dewbre (Jeremy), Oklahoma City, OK

Crystal Fiola (Joe), Amarillo, TX

Nichole Lopez (Paul), Artesia, NM

Stephanie Martins, Colorado Springs, CO

Austin Turner, Albuquerque, NM

Aubree Turner, Phoenix, AZ

Wade Parks (Gwen), Houston, TX

Amanda Parks, Hobbs, NM

Ashley Barranca, Albuquerque, NM

Paul Barranca, Albuquerque, NM

He is also survived by his 12 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandson and many nieces and nephews.

David grew up with his three brothers and two sisters on a farm north of Clovis, NM in the Rhea community.  David graduated from Rosedale High School in 1951.  He played basketball for the small rural school of Rosedale High School.   His basketball team went to the New Mexico State Basketball tournament at a time when New Mexico had no school size divisions.  He received a basketball scholarship to Waylen College in the State of Washington and eventually graduated from Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) with a bachelor’s degree in economics.  While in college, he married Janice Howard of Tucumcari, NM, and together they had three children, Spencer, Steve and Teresa.  After graduating from ENMU, David enlisted into the United States Navy, in 1956 and served till 1960.  He graduated from officer training school in Newport, RI, with a rank of Lieutenant JG.  He went on to attend Diesel Engineer training in Great Lakes, MI.  In the Navy he served as Senior Officer on the LSM455, Beachmaster Unit 1 stationed at Coronado Island, CA.  He was honorably discharged from the US Navy, returning to the Rhea community to take over the family farm, homesteaded by his great-great grandfather.  David was extremely proud that through six generations the family farm is still being operated by his son Spencer. 

David served on the Texico, NM School Board for 25 years.  He was active in the Republican Party, making a run for the State Senate in 1969 with the campaign slogan “Turn to Turner”.  In 1969, David was 1 of 21 Republicans who attended the New Mexico State Constitutional Convention focused on condensing the New Mexico State Constitution. President Gerald Ford appointed David as the Chairman for the USDA-Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation State Committee.  He served as chairman 1973-1977.  In the early 1980’s, he accepted the appointed position by President Ronald Reagan as the State Executive Director for the USDA- Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now Farm Service Agency) for the State of New Mexico serving for an 8 year term.  David married Lucia Sandoval Tafoya in 1992 and they made their home in Albuquerque, NM.

Lovingly called “Big D” by many of his grandchildren. David loved a warm tortilla with freshly roasted green chili, the game of basketball, a bowl of homemade ice cream, a good laugh, and a sharp wit!  He is well recognized for his sense of humor.  He also loved the Land of Enchantment, making many motorcycle trips over the roads of New Mexico with his two sons and friend, Childers.  He traveled throughout the United States with his wife, Lucia.  Vaya Con Dios Big D!

Memorial services will be held on October 2, 2023 at 11:00 am at the Gabaldon Mortuary Chapel, 1000 Old Coors Dr. SW, Albuquerque, NM. Family has arranged to join them virtually. Click on the link;

You are invited to join David’s family at a reception held at American Legion Post 69, 9000 4th St. NW, Alameda, NM following the memorial service.

Interment services will be held on October 9, 2023 at 11:00 am at the Hollene Cemetary, Hollene, NM.  David’s family invites you to join them for a reception at the Rhea Community Center, Rhea, TX following the service.

To send flowers to the family in memory of David E. Turner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, October 2, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Monday, October 2, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

American Legion Duran y Gallegos Post 69

9000 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

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Monday, October 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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