Cover photo for Catheryne Turner's Obituary
1924 Catheryne 2022

Catheryne Turner

May 28, 1924 — May 1, 2022

St. Paul

Catheryne Hoekstra Turner, surrounded by her daughters, joined her eternal dance partner, Rex, on May 1, 2022. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Catheryne was born on May 28, 1924 in Sanborn, Iowa. She was the first child of Allie and Nicholas Hoekstra and the first grandchild of Trinke and Banke Bakker. She was 100% Dutch and a first generation American.
Following her birth she was joined by brothers Russell & Bertram and finally her long-awaited sister, Winifred. Catheryne talked fondly about living in her grandparent’s huge house and being surrounded by her many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Eventually her family moved to Ogilvie, MN. During World War II, when Catheryne was 20 years old, she moved to work at the hospital in Mora. She worked there for a year, receiving on-the-job training, and later worked at the new hospital in Braham.
In 1949, Catheryne moved to St. Paul and began working at Miller Hospital (now United). She was recognized for her strong work ethic and was encouraged to take the state test to become a Licensed Practice Nurse. Without children of her own yet, she spent many weekends with her oldest niece and nephews Doris, John and Bruce and took pride in having the time and resources to spoil them.
She loved telling stories about her 25-year career at Miller Hospital, working in the E.R. and the beautiful, life-long friends she met there including Marlene Merth. Catheryne continued her career in nursing, working briefly for local nursing homes before entering the world of private duty work. She never missed an opportunity to talk about when she was hired to care for Majorie Congdon Caldwell. She was devoted to her patients and developed long term friendships. She continued nursing until she was 84 years young.
In 1963, Catheryne joined Bachelors & Bells at Central Presbyterian Church. It was there that she met the love of her life, Rex Turner, who had relocated from Blackwell, OK. After introductions courtesy of Roger Grussing, Rex & Cathy had their first date on February 14, 1963. They were married four months later at Central, with Roger officiating his first wedding; he did one heck of a job because it lasted over 50 years! With daughters Cassandra and Roxanna, life in the Portland House was - as Catheryne would say - “something else!” If you’ve ever been there - you’re probably nodding in agreement.
Road Trips were common for the Turner family - whether it was outings to Wisconsin cheese factories on Sundays after church or trips to Nashville and Iowa to see relatives. When a new car was purchased there was always a trip to the Dairy Queen in Hudson, WI to make sure the air conditioning worked. Camping was also a family favorite and when Catheryne realized that cooking at a campsite took too much time - she quickly talked Rex into bringing the microwave on future camping trips.
Catheryne was a social butterfly. Rex often commented that no matter where they went, she'd meet people and find someone in common they both knew. She adored her friends and loved bringing them together. She was a member of Y’s Menettes for more than 50 years, and met countless neighbors while selling Avon throughout the neighborhood for 10 years. Later in life she found new companions with the Red Hat Society and - let’s not forget - her water aerobics buddies at the Y.
When Catheryne found out she was going to be a grandmother, she resisted the word - but leapt wholeheartedly into the position. First with granddaughters, Bryanna and McKayla - and then with grandsons Leo & Elias. She became the grandparent who kept them up at night just so she could spend more time with them.
Catheryne was preceded in death by her father Nicholas, mother Allie, brothers Russell and Bertrum Hoekstra, sister Winifred Vos and husband of 50 years, Rex.
She is survived by her daughters, Cassandra Murphy (Excelsior, MN) and Roxanna Turner (Ashland, WI); grandchildren Bryanna & McKayla Murphy, and Leo and Elias Schue, loving cousins, nieces, nephews and brother-in-law, Clarence Vos.
Baptized in the Christian Reformed Church, and later becoming Presbyterian, Catheryne’s Christian faith was strong throughout her life. She demonstrated this in so many ways with so many people. This faith - and daily prayer - brought her strength and comfort.
A celebration of Catheryne’s life will be held over Memorial Day Weekend. Visitation will be on Friday, May 27th at Kessler & Maguire Funeral Home (640 W 7th St, St Paul) from 3 - 7pm. Services for Catheryne will be held on her birthday, May 28th, at Central Presbyterian Church (500 Cedar St, St. Paul) at 11am. Following the service, the celebration will continue at Cassandra’s home.
We would like to thank the staff at Lilydale Senior Living Center for their care and kindness over the past eight years. Ecumen Hospice has been enormously helpful during the final days and weeks of Catheryne’s life and provided her with happiness and respect throughout her final days. Our family is so grateful to all of you.
Oh - what a life!

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 27, 2022

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Central Presbyterian Church (St. Paul))

500 Cedar St, St Paul, MN 55101

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