John began his earthly journey on September 16, 1951 born to Peter and Audrey J (Newland) Turkovic at Fort Worth, Texas and went home to his heavenly father on Friday, March 19, 2021. Growing up in a military family, he attended many different schools, attending four in one particular year, until his father retired to Orwell, Ohio for his sophomore year in high school. John graduated from Grand Valley High School in May of 1969. Following graduation, the family moved to Salina, Kansas. John attended and graduated from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1974. He continued his education toward his master’s degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas from 1974-76. John began his teaching career in 1976 at the Genni Barker School in rural Garden City, Kansas where he taught 6thgrade and worked as the acting assistant principal. In 1981 he accepted a position at the Lake Travis school district in Austin, Texas until 1982, when he felt the draw to return to Kansas and family, He accepted a position at Council Grove Middle School as a middle school teacher where he remained for the next 27 years. During this time, John married Marilyn Luebbert on August 7, 1982. They later divorced and remained close friends. From their union, they had a son, Michael in 1984. John continued to work towards his master’s degree in school administration at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas which he accomplished in 1988. One of John’s proudest achievements were his students who he continued to stay close to as they grew up and had children of their own. John was fondly referred to as Mr. T when he taught and coached the head girls basketball team. A job he loved as much as the students he taught. John loved to fish and hunt. He also loved to travel with his sister back to Ohio, California and various other destinations where they had many adventures. Another life passion for John was his son, Michael who he was so proud of. Their many trips to Gunnison and Lake City, Colorado were his best memories. As John continued down the pathways of life, he yearned for grandchildren and finally realized that joy in 2019 with the birth of his first grandchild. John is survived by his son Michael and daughter-in-law, Tyndol, brothers George (Michelle) and Tom Turkovic, sister Carolyn Culp (Frank), grandchildren Christian and Kalea, nieces Audrey (Matt) Sullivan, Rachel Saluri (Jimmy), Becky Turkovic and Lizzie Buchman, nephews Johnny Muller, Ben Turkovic and Andrew Maiden (Amanda), his aunt, Ann Klienert, cousins George Klienert and Marshal Newland, as well as many great-nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his grandparents, John & Rose Turkovich and Robert & Irene Dixson, parents Peter & Audrey Turkovic and uncle, John Newland. John was a member and attended the Council Grove Christian Church.
A visitation for family and friends will be held at the Council Grove Christian Church on Thursday, April 1st, from 4:00 – 6:00. Funeral service will also be at the church on Friday at 11:00. The family would like memorials to go toward the AWANA’s. Checks should be made to CG Christian Church, with AWANA on the memo line. Please mail to CG Christian Church, 106 E Main, Council Grove, KS 66846. Condolences may be made to www.sawyerchapel.com.
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