Sylvia Beisly Turk

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Sylvia Beisly Turk, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away April 6, 2006, in Kelso, Wash., at the age of 91. Sylvia was born on Oct. 8, 1914, at the Beisly Family Farm in Sheldon, Mo. Her parents, Alonzo and Nancy Luada Fowler Beisly had traveled from Oklahoma by covered wagon to Sheldon to farm 80 acres of land given to Sylvia's mother, Luada, by her father, William H. Fowler. The Beisly Farm was soon filled with six brothers and one sister, eight children in all. Farm life was full of hard work and long days for Sylvia. The Depression brought very difficult times but the farm provided a bounty of plentiful food for the family. When Sylvia wasn't helping with cooking meals for family and farmhands, she was enjoying the simplicities of life, whether it be riding a horse, bareback, to Rouser Town to pick up the mail or playing the steel guitar at small gatherings of friends from neighboring farms.

Sylvia's oldest brother, Nova, was a tele-type operator at the Sheldon train station and her youngest brother Murry, was one of the few that survived the Battle of the Bulge during the World War. Her brother, Ray, owned and operated Beisley's Paint and Wallpaper Store in Nevada, Mo. Sylvia attended Phillips School near the Beisly farm. It was a one-room country schoolhouse that taught first through eighth grade.

Sylvia was 19 years old when she married the love of her life, Omel Francis Turk. Omel graduated from Sheldon High School in 1923 and was well known for his love of baseball and good pitching arm. Sylvia proudly sat in the stands and watched as he won many baseball games in Sheldon and for surrounding areas. They were married on Aug. 2, 1933, and together they had four children. Omel's parents were John and Anna Turk of Sheldon where his father, John, operated a blacksmith's shop.

Omel and Sylvia lived in Sheldon a few years and then moved to Grandview, Mo., where Omel worked at the Pratt & Whitney plant. Good paying jobs were very scarce and soon it was time to move the family again. This time it was to the state of Washington, where Omel and his brother, Estle, owned and operated "Turk Brother's Garage" in Kelso. The trip to Washington in 1947, took 10 days and Sylvia cooked supper every night for the family after driving the car all day. Omel drove the pickup truck with the family dog, Trixie, riding in a wooden box tied on the running board. Floyd Billingsly drove the tractor-trailer containing all the family's belongings. Sylvia would fix breakfast every morning and sometimes for lunch would prepare cold sandwiches and the family would picnic out under a big tree along the road. Sylvia especially enjoyed those moments because it felt so good to stretch her legs and be in the fresh air with her children.

The family found a house on the top of a hill in Kelso, and settled into a wonderful life of fun filled family outings and good times. Sylvia provided a safe haven for her children with her wonderful home cooked meals and stable family life. There are warm places in our hearts that will forever treasure the love that Mom had for all of us and there are places in our memories that will forever treasure her wonderful family stories of the Beisly Farm and a simpler time. Mom's absence from our lives, will be felt forever.

Sylvia was preceded in death by her husband, Omel on Jan. 20, 1992, her parents Alonzo and Luada Beisly; her six brothers, Nova, Ray, Barney, Burrell, Ira, and Muffy; and one sister, Goldie.

Sylvia is survived by her four children Nancy Ann Purviss of Kennewick, Wash., Omel Lewis Turk, and twins Joyce Marie Beeny of Tualatin, Ore., and Janet Mae Denk, Kansas City, Mo. Sylvia also leaves 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Sylvia was interned along side her husband Omel, on April 11, at Cowlitz View Memorial Gardens in Kelso.