Regiment: Military Police
Regimental No: R.212369
Force: Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
Ellis Ross Turner was born on July 31, 1906, in Calgary, AB, to Samuel James Turner and Agnes Jane (Knight) Turner, the youngest of 9 children.
Following the discharge and return of three of his brothers from World War I, Ellis and the family moved from Calgary to the old Bezanson town site in 1920. Ellis lived at the old Bezanson townsite with parents, Samuel and Agnes Turner, and his brothers. His sister Ethel arrived in July and taught the following year at Glen Leslie school.
Ellis filed on the southwest quarter of 5-72-26-W5 in 1922. The Turners were the last residents of the old Bezanson town site, leaving in August 1923 and moving to DeBolt.
Ellis married Barbara Maxine Matlock on December 20, 1940, in Grande Prairie. Barbara was born on October 31, 1920, in Champion, AB. They had four children, Barbara Joan “Joan” (Turner) Bowman (married Wayne Bowman), Linda Ellen (Turner) MacDonald (married Howard MacDonald), Valerie Mae (Turner) Jensen (married Michael Peterson, Paul Stehelin, Mogens Jensen), and William Ross Turner (married Mona Oatway).
Ellis lived on his DeBolt farm from 1923-1995. Joan and Wayne Bowman now own Cliff’s quarter of land (SW 32-71-26-W5) and a quarter once owned by Al (NW 32-71-26-W5). In conjunction with farming, Ellis also did carpentry work throughout the community.
Both Ellis and Barbara thoroughly enjoyed sports. Barbara curled and played golf. In his early years, Ellis played baseball for Grande Prairie and Sexsmith, and curled at DeBolt. Later, he golfed and loved gardening.
Ellis joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on the 30th of January 1943 and served with the Military Police. At age 36, he was told he was over the age to be a mechanic or to go overseas but could be an Air Gunner later. It was suggested he go into the Military Police which he did, joining the Royal Canadian Airforce. The day after being enlisted he was sent to Brandon, Manitoba for Training and in March 1943 was sent on to Trenton, Ontario for Education. He was honourably released and transferred to Class “E” of the General Section of the Reserve on the 17th day of October 1945. He did not serve in the theatre of war nor was he wounded.
He was an active community member joining the East Smoky Royal Canadian Legion, operating the DeBolt Theatre, serving on both the DeBolt Cemetery Board for some 25 years and the DeBolt Museum Board. Ellis was also a member of the Senior Citizen Apartment Complex Board and served for 26 years with the Grande Prairie Hospital Board as a representative of ID 16.
Ellis died on August 3, 1995, in Grande Prairie, AB, and is buried in the DeBolt Cemetery. His wife, Barbara Turner died July 28, 2012, and is also buried at DeBolt.
Sources: 1995-08-04 Northwestern Alberta Obituary Index, Community Book Names Index: Smoky River to Grande Prairie, page 74, and Bridges to the Past, page 207, obituary, daughter Joan Bowman, grandniece Suzanne (Turner) Dunn.