Bill Turner
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Bill Turner
Grand Nephew of Paul P. Harris, Sue Davis-Hornby, Grand Daughter of Harris Ruggles, the fifth Rotarian RGHF's 12th anniversary celebration, 13 October 2012, Denver, Colorado Historic/Harris Tour of Rotary in Denver.

Two new inductees: Bill Turner and Sue Davis-Hornby, congratulated by RGHF founding member PDG Eddie Blender.

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, following the RGHF 12th Anniversary Luncheon in Denver at The Inn at Cherry Creek, Bill Turner, the grandnephew of Rotary Founder Paul Harris, conducted an Historic Rotary Tour of Denver. The six participants included driver Bill and organizer Dave Amen, and fellow passengers Rotarians Jan and Tom Keyton and from Greeley PDG Bryan Cooke and Doug Armbrust.

Bill Turner had the good fortune of spending many times with his grand-uncle Paul Harris, both in Chicago and in Denver. Bill Turner is the son of Ruth Turner, who was the only child of Nina May Harris, who was the only sister of Paul Harris, and thus Bill is Nina Mayís grandson and is grandnephew of Paul Harris. Bill recalls having met his granduncle when Paul Harris came to Denver in 1941 for the Rotary International Convention. Bill, who would have been twelve at the time, recalls singing a solo for Paul Harris at a Convention Session at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Bill and his brother picked up Paulís Buick when Paul shipped it by train to Denver. They met Paul and drove to the top of Mount Evans to visit the Rotary emblem there, along with touring around Denver, Estes Park and the front range of Colorado.

In a written recording by Billís mother, Ruth Turner, she states that her grandparents moved to Denver in December, 1894, and resided at 1225 Lincoln Street, where now the Colorado History Museum is located, and kittycorner to Saint Markís Church. Nina May had attended the Sunday School of the parish priest, Father Houghton, when he was earlier located in New York State across the state line from Fair Haven, Vermont.

Patti Blender, Founding Member PDG Eddie Blender, PRID and Trustee Lynn Hammond, Robert Lucero, Honorary Member Bill Turner (grand nephew of Paul Harris), David Amen, Doug Armbrust, Jim Kelley, Jr., Sue Davis-Hornby (grand daughter of Harry Ruggles, the fifth Rotarian), Jim Hoops, Jan Keyton, Earl Hasz, Tom Keyton, DG 10/11 Bryan Cooke.

Inductees: Bill Turner and Sue Davis-Hornby


We are indebted to Dave Amen, left, for discovering the existence of Bill Turner, and Bob Lucero, right, for his tireless work organizing this event.


Historic Rotary Tour of Denver, and Paul Harris



Many homes in which the Harrises and Nina May resided have been destroyed, but several residences where Bill recalls visiting his grandmother are still standing today including 860 Emerson, where Nina May lived on the first floor on the left (now identified as Mullen Mansionósee picture) from 1933 to 1935, and 1535 Grant (yellow building in pictures) from 1936 until she died in 1940. The remains of Nina May are located at the gravesite of her parents but with no marker (1870-1940).


Our thanks to Douglas W. Armbrust, M.D., Past President, Greeley Rotary Club, RGHF member, for his help on this page.

Sue Davis-Hornby, grand daughter of Rotary's fifth member, Harry Ruggles.
RGHF 12th Anniversary at Denver - Saturday 13 October 2012


Jack M. B. Selway, Patti Blender, RGHF founding member PDG Eddie Blender (the founder of Our Foundation Newsletter) and PRID Lynn Hammond, the inspiration for our long running feature, "What Paul Harris Said." Before RGHF, Eddie was the zone newsletter editor for then RID Lynn.


Paulís brother Claude H. Harris, who is buried nearby along with other veterans
who died during the Spanish-American War.




The gravesite of Billís parents, Ruth (1892-1986) and Robert W. Turner, Sr. (1886-1980), was visited.

The Inn at Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado
 

Paul's comments about Denver and his parents.


"And then there is another thing about you, my dear father. It happened long after the years of which I have been writing; in fact, long after you had left Vermont. I refer to the latter period of your life when you were living in Denver. Mother was, at the time, sadly broken; she was totally blind and helpless and then came the great transformation of your life. You waited on mother so tenderly all of those latter years; lifting her from her bed and placing her in her wheel chair. I remember so well how patiently you fed her with a spoon; how you hung on her every word and became her abject slave and when she passed away, you tried so bravely to face life without her. You expiated all shortcomings of former years." Paul P. Harris, My Road to Rotary, Chapter 20, 1947


Sunshine appeared as the tour stopped at Saint Marks Church (1160 Lincoln and established in 1875), where Nina May and her parents attended church, as did Bill and his parents. With wide range of emotional nostalgia, Bill recalled his baptism, confirmation, and wedding in this church as well as painting the church doors the conspicuous red in his younger days.

The historic tour started in rain and thus the colorful umbrellas with initial visit to Fairmount Cemetery in Denver to view the gravesite of the parents of Paul Harris, Cornelia Bryan Harris (1842-1919) and George H. Harris (1841-1926), as well as Paulís brother Claude H. Harris, who is buried nearby along with other veterans who died during the Spanish-American War. Also nearby, the gravesite of Billís parents, Ruth (1892-1986) and Robert W. Turner, Sr. (1886-1980), was visited. Sunshine appeared as the tour stopped at Saint Marks Church (1160 Lincoln and established in 1875), where Nina May and her parents attended church, as did Bill and his parents.


With wide range of emotional nostalgia, Bill recalled his baptism, confirmation, and wedding in this church as well as painting the church doors the conspicuous red in his younger days. Many homes in which the Harrises and Nina May resided have been destroyed, but several residences where Bill recalls visiting his grandmother are still standing today including 860 Emerson, where Nina May lived on the first floor on the left (now identified as Mullen Mansionósee picture) from 1933 to 1935, and 1535 Grant (yellow building in pictures) from 1936 until she died in 1940. The remains of Nina May are located at the gravesite of her parents but with no marker (1870-1940).





Doug, Tom, Dave, Bryan, and Bill standing on the corner of St. Marks Episcopal Church in downtown Denver with the Colorado Historical Museum in the background. The rest of the pictures are seemingly self-evident or referred to in my remarks.

Directly across the corner from the red-door church the Harris parents attended were the apartments where they lived, exactly where the Colorado History Museum now stands! Thatís also the church where Bill was married, and he painted that red door!
 


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