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Jackson Hole native and managing partner of the Triangle X Ranch, Donald M. Turner, died on Wednesday, June 1st after a battle with Alzheimer’s. Funeral services were held yesterday at Our Lady of Mountains Catholic Church in Jackson. The third son of John C. and Louise M. Turner, he was born in the old log St. John’s Hospital in Jackson on April 21, 1948. He was 68 years old.
Growing up at the Triangle X, he acquired the multiple skills of ‘cowboying’, guiding, hunting, fishing, hay production, log carpentry, and mechanics. His character was developed with a commitment to hard work, integrity, and a sense of humor. “As most ranchers born to an earlier generation,” observes his son Lucas, “He took pride in a strong work ethic. He loved working alongside his employees and made each feel like they were a valued member of the Triangle X team.”
He attended grade and high school at Judge Memorial Catholic School in Salt Lake City where he excelled in basketball and football. As an end in football, he was unanimously chosen to the All State High School Team. For college, Donald attended Colorado State University where he earned a degree in Business.
An excellent golfer, he enjoyed gathering with friends to play local courses. He was an avid fly fisherman and a favorite activity was floating the Snake River plying riffles with a fly rod. A preferred winter past time was snowmobiling.
At the Triangle X Ranch, he was a superb dude rancher who enjoyed welcoming visitors to the valley from throughout the world. Guests enjoyed his dry whit and easy going nature. According to his son Lucas, “Being an excellent host, he was truly honored so many people chose to spend their vacation time with us.”
An excellent horseman, he developed and managed one of the finest horseback riding operations in the American West. In addition, he headed up all the irrigation, fencing and hay production operations at the Triangle X as well as maintain and fix the ranch’s machinery and vehicles. He also built and rebuilt many of the buildings at the ranch complex.
For many years, he managed Triangle X’s Enos Lake big game hunting camp in the Teton Wilderness. This camp site has been in the Turner family since the mid 1930’s. In the summer, Donald enjoyed hosting guests on wilderness pack trips. Whether hunting for a bull elk, fly fishing a remote stream, or riding alpine summits above timber line, Donald loved the mountains.
Donald was a former officer and member of the Jackson Hole Outfitter’s and Guide’s Association as well as the Wyoming Outfitter’s and Guide’s Association. Caring deeply about the quality of education available to the youngsters of the valley he served for years on the Teton County School Board. As Teton County School Board Chairman he played a key role in proposing, designing and building the present Jackson High School complex.
Donald especially loved his relationships with his wife, children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Anne, whom he met at the ranch. His son Lucas, daughter Elizabeth, grandson Dean, and granddaughter Allie. He has two daughters-in-law, Lauren and Soli and two brothers, Harold and John.
In memory of Donald, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org. or Alzheimer's Association Wyoming Chapter
2232 Dell Range Blvd, Suite 220 Cheyenne, WY 82009.
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