Clifford Turner Sr. celebrated his 90th birthday doing one of the things he loves most: singing. He enjoyed his birthday at Cherrywood Village, where his son is the chaplain, having some special numbers sung for and by him. After the service, those present went to the community room where they enjoyed a lunch prepared by his daughter-in-law, Lavon, and granddaughter, Vonette.
Born in Wenatchee, Wash., on May 11, 1927, Cliff was the eldest of four children born to Joey and Zella Turner. Joey worked on the Grand Coulee Dam during its construction, and Cliff went to school there. He remembers riding a horse to school. The dam was eventually finished and the family moved to Van Zandt, Wash., where they homesteaded. Eventually they moved to Bellingham, Wash., where Cliff went to school until his senior year when he went to Auburn Academy. Leaving school in the middle of the year, he joined the Navy just at the end of World War II. He received an honorable discharge after just a few months.
Cliff started singing in a quartet in Bellingham at age 14. Bill and Bud Dopp and Glen Larson completed the quartet.
Cliff married Lorna Brolin in 1947, and they had three boys: Mickey, Andy and Rodney. They also took in foster children; one summer they had five in the home plus their own three boys. Eventually they adopted two of the children, Lynda and David.
Cliff worked at American Fabricators, a company that made laminated beams, many of which ended up in Adventist churches. After working there for 15 years, he entered denominational service, starting at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash., in the maintenance and boiler room. After two years there, he was called to the White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, where he worked for 18 years. He ended his working years at the Portland (Ore.) Adventist Medical Center maintenance department.
After Lorna's death in 1975, Cliff eventually remarried his current wife, Sallie Shelton. She had four children, so there are quite a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
For the last 20-plus years he sang in a quartet with his son, Mick. He was also singing in the Pitchpipers Barbershop group, the Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus and His Praise Men's Chorus, of which he is the oldest member. Recently he has been singing with Generation's Men's Chorus and the Cherrywood Village Choir.