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Originally published: 2012-12-05 13:24:43
Last modified: 2012-12-05 13:24:43

Rita McNeal Turner

Rita Dare McNeal Turner, 83, of Southern Pines, died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at her home after a short battle with cancer.

Mrs. Turner and her husband of nearly 62 years, Frank, relocated to Whispering Pines in 1993.

Mrs. Turner graduated from Ridley Park High School in Ridley Park, Pa., before entering Appalachian State Teachers' College in Boone. She graduated in 1950 with a degree in home economics and science. While at Appalachian, Mrs. Turner was involved in a variety of sporting and club activities. In her senior year, she was selected May Queen. After graduation, Mrs. Turner returned to Ridley Park and began working at Pennsylvania Military College.

Rita Dare McNeal and Frank D. Turner Jr. were married Feb. 16, 1951. During her 30 years as an Army wife, Mrs. Turner moved 14 times and lived in the territory of Hawaii and Oberammergau, West Germany. A mother of four, she was active in Boy Scouts, Officers' Wives Clubs, Army Community Service, Thrift Shop, Chapel Activities, Arlington Ladies, White House Christmas Cards, College Club, Toymakers at Moore County Regional Hospital, MOAA Women and PEO. Mrs. Turner was a member of First Baptist Church, Southern Pines.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Alberta Brown McNeal and Frederick M. McNeal Sr., and her brother, Frederick McNeal Jr.

She is survived by her husband LTC (RET) Frank D. Turner Jr.; and sons, LTG (RET) Thomas R. Turner II (Susan), Abu Dhabi, UAE, MG Frank D. Turner III (Michal), Redstone Arsenal, Ala., MAJ (RET) John M. Turner (Lana), Lakeridge, Va., COL William A. Turner (LTC, RET Alissa), Alexandria, Va.; grandchildren, Thomas Russell Turner III, SPC Kevin McNeill Turner, Timothy Turner, Kyle Turner, Tara Stratton, Tonia Horton, CPT Frank D. Turner IV, Elizabeth Dare Turner, CPT John M. Turner Jr., Melanie Turner, Eric Turner, Sarah Turner, Rita Claire Turner, and Morgan Turner; great-grandchildren, Thomas Russell Turner IV, Colleen Turner, Jackson Turner, Caleb Turner, Nathaniel Horton, Lily Horton, Jack Stratton and Lila Stratton.

Viewing will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines. The memorial service will be 1 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Southern Pines, with reception following at Belle Meade, Southern Pines.

Online condolences may be made at

Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family.