Robert Michael “Zeke” Turner, 74, of Huntsville, Ark., passed away peacefully Thursday March 31, 2022, while his wife, Gladys, held his hand.

He was born Feb. 21, 1948, in Long Beach, Calif., to Vivian Oda (Wellman) Turner and Robert Wayne “Zeke” Turner. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Rodney, Calvin, and Kieth Turner.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Gladys Irene (Koons) Turner; one brother, Curtis Wayne Turner; one son and his wife, Forest Shade and Tara Dawn Turner; Tara’s son Ashton Simpson; one grandson, Forest Rain Turner; and one granddaughter, Mathilda Alyss Turner.

Although spending his earlier years in Oklahoma, Zeke attended the same high school in Long Beach as did Gladys. They met at a friend’s home watching the Beatles live on the Ed Sullivan show; both were 16. Together they had many adventures: renting a small house near UCLA with banana and walnut trees; group living on Mount Uminum near Santa Cruz, Calif., where they managed a natural feed and hardware store; and in 1976 (bicentennial) moving to Arkansas driving an 18-gear, 2-ton 1948 GMC painted red, white and blue with an eagle decal above the windshield and a redwood cabin on its flatbed. Settling in Snowball, Ark., Zeke did various jobs helping local farmers and joined Snowball Treeplanters for the winter months. When he helped the county land surveyor, he found his true calling. After receiving a degree in Land Surveying from UALR in 1988, he established Snowball Land Surveying. He later moved his family to Madison County where he assisted several surveying crews. Crawling into ravines and climbing bluffs to find that allusive corner marker was a dream job for Zeke. While on the job he’d find many rocks and fossils and bottles to add to his collections, sometimes at the expense of the equipment he left behind. His career was cut short when his Parkinson’s symptoms no longer allowed him to balance on that ledge or turn those intricate dials. This gave him time to build a greenhouse room onto his 1948 oak-studded home in Huntsville where he tended his orchids and amaryllis.

Zeke’s infectious laughter and unending supply of jokes and tales will be greatly missed.

No services have been scheduled at this time.