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Mary Elizabeth Kees Turner

Service Date: August 28, 2021
Visitation Info: Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington
Interment Info: Alexandria Cemetery
Service Info: Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington
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Mary Elizabeth (Bess) Kees was born in 1926 in her family home on their Poplar Ridge farm in Alexandria, Kentucky. She was the fifth child and completed the family of George Kees Sr. (a butcher) and Frances Jeanette Thatcher Kees (a homemaker). Bess (or Bessie as she was known by the family) was little sister to four brothers: Frank John (FJ), killed in action WW II 1943; Jack Henry, who died in 1968; Grant Thatcher, who died in 1976; and George Jr., who died in 2010. She loved “the boys” and worked hard to keep up with them. This farm girl’s first mode of transportation was a horse and buggy.

She graduated from Campbell County High School in 1944 and enrolled in Littleford-Nelson Business College where she earned an associate degree in business. She worked for the Benton, Benton & Leudeke law firm in Newport before moving across the river to Nelson Browning & Company (in Cincinnati’s Carew Tower), an investment securities firm.

In 1950, she married Richard Clarence Turner, who had returned to Alexandria after three years in the Navy during WW II. They were married at the Alexandria Methodist Church and celebrated with friends and family on the lawn at the Kees homestead.

Bess continued to work in the business field until she and Richard started their family. For 11 years, she became a full-time homemaker, raising Sande and Vicki and pouring herself into the new world of three-point cloth diapers, volunteering for all-things church and PTA, room mothering, and being an exceptional band mom.

In 1967 she returned to the office, working in her brother George’s business, Kees Surgical Specialty Company, until 1986 when the company was sold to Johnson & Johnson. She stayed on through 1994 as an HR executive. She dabbled in real estate and city planning and zoning and was rarely idle—even in retirement. She never met a stranger and volunteered in many areas of her church, including trustees, staff-parish, administrative boards, Stephen Ministry, and the startup and administration of a kindergarten.

Bess’s family includes Sande (Mark) Shepherd of Lexington, Vicki (Greg) Hinkel of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and four grandchildren: Kelly Hinkel, Amy Hinkel (Paden) Oldham, Susanna Shepherd (Garrett) Vance, and Zech Shepherd.

Bess spent her final days in Hospice care in Alexandria at The Seasons, about a mile from the Kees farm. The family wishes to extend gracious thanks to the village that loved and supported us. Over the years, caregivers and fellow residents became like family. We are thankful for each friend who enriched our lives.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Kentucky United Methodist Children’s Homes (Attn: Development Department, 1115 Ashgrove Road, Nicholasville, KY 40356).

Alexandria Funeral Home is handling the burial at Alexandria Cemetery.

A celebration of Bess’s life will be held Saturday, August 28, at Linnemann Funeral Home (1940 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Kentucky). Receiving of friends will be 1:00–2:30 p.m., with a service at 2:30 and a reception following. Please wear a mask if you are vulnerable or unvaccinated.

To share a memory or leave a message for the family please visit: www.linnemannfuneralhomes.com

Saturday
28
August
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington

1940 Burlington Pike
BURLINGTON, KY 41005
Saturday
28
August
2:30 pm

Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington

1940 Burlington Pike
BURLINGTON, KY 41005

Alexandria Cemetery

Address: ALEXANDRIA, KY
Saturday
28
August
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington

1940 Burlington Pike
BURLINGTON, KY 41005