Nancy K. Turner, age 77, of Willmar, passed away Friday, Oct. 7, at CentraCare Therapy Suites.
A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. followed by a celebration of life service at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. In lieu of flowers, Nancy wished for donations to the Kandiyohi County Humane Society, or to your favorite animal rescue. www.petersonbrothers.com
Nancy was born in Glenwood, MN, on February 3, 1945, to Herman and Helen Philipsen and lived in Brooten, MN, throughout her childhood and school years. She graduated from Brooten High School in 1963, where she played in the drum corps and was Homecoming Queen her senior year. She went on to school in Park Rapids, MN, for medical lab technician.
Nancy married Jim Vegoe from Glenwood in 1964. Nancy and Jim had 3 children while living in various areas, including Illinois (Great Lakes Naval Base), Minneapolis, Memphis and Atlanta. Nancy returned to the Brooten/Belgrade area with her children and her second husband, Sam Wade, in 1973.
Nancy worked at the Belgrade Nursing Home for many of years, then went back to school for Agri-Business at Ridgewater College in the early 1980’s. She sold feed for Supersweet Feeds after completing her Ag Business degree.
In 1984, Nancy met Woody (George) Turner from Brooten, and a year later they married in Kalispell, Montana. Both Nancy and Woody love Montana and nature. For many years they made an annual trip to Montana, visiting their favorite spots - Bear Tooth Pass, Chief Joseph Pass, Red Lodge, Yellowstone Park, and Glacier National Park. Montana was truly their happy place, and they created many happy memories there, including Nancy bringing home tumbleweeds and rocks for decorating their home.
Nancy and Woody moved to their current home outside of Willmar, MN, in 1985. They’ve enjoyed being outside of town, loving the many trees in the backyard looking over a pond, and the deer and many birds that visit including chickadees, hummingbirds, orioles, juncos, finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers (even Pileated) and the occasional Mr. and Mrs. Grosbeak.
Nancy’s love of animals was also very evident in the work she did with the Kandiyohi County Animal Humane Society, and at Fancy Coats Pet Grooming. Nancy and Woody fostered dogs at their home, and sometimes foster-failed, where they ended up keeping the foster dog. Nancy has passed her love and knowledge of birds, animals, and nature on to her children, who have also taken up these hobbies.
Nancy loved visiting with family and friends, catching up over coffee and reminiscing over happy memories and laughing. One of Nancy’s best friends nicknamed her “Nancy with the laughing eyes” – and it surely fits.
Nancy retired from working as a retail clerk at Wal-Mart in 2012, where she had enjoyed seeing people from the area that she knew as well as meeting others. In the years since retiring, and as breathing became harder from her COPD, she especially enjoyed sitting in the big chair in the dining area looking out the patio doors and enjoying the view and watching the animals. Their faithful rescue terrier, Lucy, would sit with her there for hours.
Nancy was admitted to Rice Hospital in Willmar on the evening of September 21, 2022, and about a week later transferred to Willmar Care Center where the wonderful staff provided comfort care and support. They were a godsend to Nancy and to her family.
Nancy is survived by husband: Woody (George) Turner, of Willmar; children: Amy (Tom) Stocking of Eagan, Stephanie Vegoe of Fairfax, Georgina Turner of Foley and Paul Vegoe of Burnsville; grandchildren: Reece Kopacek, McKenzie Stocking, Emily (Zach) Malecha, and Josh, Dustin and Hailey Kotzenmacher; great-grandchildren: Aden and Emmet Malecha; brothers: Gary (Helen) Philipsen of Pueblo, CO; Warren (Muriel) Philipsen of Aurora, CO; sister: Joy (Darrell) Rooney of Belgrade; many nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents.