Judie B. Turner (1935 – 2020)
Judie B. Turner of Winter Park passed peacefully on June 17, 2020. Judie was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio on September 26, 1935.
Judie began playing piano at age 4. By junior high, she had played piano with George Szell, conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Leonard Shure of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Judie was a piano major at the University of Michigan. Among her performances at the University of Michigan, Judie performed the Gershwin Concerto in her sophomore year.
Judie also was an avid swimmer. She excelled in water ballet in high school and was a member of the University of Michigan synchronized swimming club. She choreographed, directed and performed in numerous synchronized swimming shows at the University of Michigan. She also performed in synchronized swimming shows sponsored by the Red Cross benefitting disabled veterans at venues in Ohio and at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida.
While attending the University of Michigan, Judie was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and the Mu Phi Epsilon music sorority. She was tapped for Wyvern, the Junior Honors Society at University of Michigan.
Soon after graduation, Judie married Leo B. West, a graduate of the law school at the University of Wisconsin. Leo and Judie moved to Coral Gables, Florida where Judie became a schoolteacher in the Dade County public school system. She continued playing piano, and composed pop tunes. A full orchestra and chorus performed “From Bach to Boogie”, a program she created.
Judie was active in the Dade County community. She was Chairwoman of the Mother March of Dimes and on the boards of Mental Health Clinic Foundation, Parkway Home for Dependent Children, American Heart Association, Woman’s Crime Commission, Project Hope, Women’s Cancer Association, The Guild and Patrons of the Museum of Science, Young Patronesses of the Opera, and American Cancer Society. She co-chaired the American Cancer Society’s second largest fundraiser, the “Ten Best Dressed Women of Miami.” She also held numerous offices in the Florida Federation of Jr. Women’s Clubs, including District Jr. Director, State Vice Director and liaison to the 6 Sunland Training Centers, and State Jr. Parliamentarian. She was awarded “The United Fund Silver Torch Award”, voted “Most Outstanding Young Woman of Dade County” and was presented the Key to the City of Coral Gables.
Judie moved to Winter Park in 1996, and was appointed to the Board of the Walt Disney Cancer Foundation. She also joined the Council of 101, an outstanding group of women leaders in the Central Florida community. She played piano for Council 101 functions, including the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser for the Orlando Museum of Art. One of her favorite moments at Council of 101 was when she and other members of Council of 101 performed “Red Hot Mama’s”, a comical mini-musical she created.
Judie married Judge W. Rogers Turner in 2004. They moved to the Mayflower in Winter Park and were happily married until his passing in 2018. Judie continued composing and performing beautiful songs for piano, including “One Prayer” and “On Villa Pond”, the latter inspired by the numerous birds that frequented the pond she could see from her piano bench in her villa at the Mayflower. She also wrote short stories and poems, including a recent poem written to lift the spirits of her fellow residents at the Mayflower.
Judie is survived by her loving son, Brad West, Brad’s wife, Lisa, 6 grandchildren, Ryan West, Lindsay West, Chad West, Hannah West, Lauren Jensen and Nicole Stewart, and great grandchild Jack Stewart. She is predeceased by her loving daughter, Dana Jensen.
In light of the limitations and safety concerns relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family is having a private remembrance on July 3, 2020. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the organizations noted above.