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Thomas "Tom" Turk (70) Print E-mail
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Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:09

Thomas "Tom" Turk passed away on Monday, April 25, 2011 at the age of 70. He had a wide range of experiences in his life. Tom rodeoed at Fresno State College in calf roping, ribbon roping, and team roping. He majored in agriculture earning his Bachelor's Degree.

He rodeoed in the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) and went to the NFR in Oklahoma City in 1971 in team roping. Tom spent two years in the U.S. Army serving his country as a Military Policeman during Korean Conflict. He had a 30 year career in the Sheriff's Department of Madera County, California. Tom farmed a 45 acre orchard of almond trees for 25 years.

He competed in PRCA Gold Card Member Roping's and competed in NSPRA rodeos in the team roping as a header. The 16 year veteran of Senior Pro Rodeo competitions started in his 50's.

"I joined at the encouragement of Bob Ragsdale. I roped with Bob for a while and then roped with Butch Terrell. I've had a number of great roping partners like Dan Branko, Donna Shedeed, and Bill Coe." Tom got his team roping start, as an 11-year-old boy growing up on a ranch in the hill country of California. "There was a community jack pot roping in foothills town of Raymond and dad would take me up there to rope. I had another mentor, Al Gomes that helped me, too."

 Tom and his wife Pat were married for 43 years and make their home in Chowchilla, CA. They have three daughters, Cherie, Kim and Darcel, six grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. The biggest influence on Tom has been his father and wife. "Dad was a hard working rancher that had high, decent morals and taught me honesty, intergrity, and respect for other people.

For Tom the NSPRA organization offered some great competition but not at the expense of good friendships and camaraderie. "It's a very competitive group but everyone is friendly and will help each other. When you get old enough to compete in Senior Pro, it's the place to be. You can compete against people your own age and have a great time doing it."

Retirement suited Tom; he enjoyed his well-deserved time off. Tom and Pat started traveling and spending more time with family.

Tom is survived by his wife, Pat Turk of Chowchilla, three daughters, Cherie Smith and her husband Greg, Kim Robinson both of Merced and Darcel Wood and her husband Danny of Chowchilla, six grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren and one sister Ellen Faulkner of Clovis.
Visitation will be held on: Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Jay Chapel, Madera, CA.

Funeral Service will be held on: Friday, April 29, 2011, 10:00 AM at Jay Chapel, Madera, CA
Interment to follow at: Chowchilla District Cemetery, Chowchilla, CA


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