Breckenridge Texan

Ima Jean Turner

Ima Jean Turner
December 30
10:13 2019

Ima Jean Rushing Turner, age 86, of Breckenridge, passed away Saturday morning, December 28, 2019, in Abilene.

She was born on April 30, 1933, in Blanket, Texas, the fifth child and fourth daughter of Dode and Bertha Rushing. Raised a country girl on a dairy farm, Ima Jean soon caught the eye of a boy from West Texas, Ray Carroll Turner, and the two were married on a Sunday afternoon in March of 1951. Ray’s career in the grocery business took the country girl to the “big cities” of Brownwood and San Angelo, but it wasn’t long before they settled in their forever home in Breckenridge with their three beautiful daughters. Ima Jean’s talents were soon evident in the community, as she was a very skilled seamstress. She enjoyed making special occasion dresses for her daughters and other young women in town, working hard to make others shine — a quality she would exhibit throughout her life. She later became a talented quilter, creating countless quilts and special gifts for her family and friends.

Ima Jean was also a skilled florist, working for many years at Padgett’s Floral. Her attention to detail and impeccable taste earned her the privilege of hosting numerous showers and celebrations for friends, family, and fellow members of the Elliott Street Church of Christ. She always wanted the events to feel special, and she took care to give each one the “Ima Jean touch.” She had a knack for finding the beauty in the simplest things and elevating it in just the right way.

In 1974, Ray and Ima Jean embarked on a new adventure which would eventually become the legendary Ray’s Grocery & Market. Ima Jean was able to put her people skills to work as a front checker for several years, and she cultivated these skills throughout her life by building relationships with people. She was a skilled communicator, as evidenced from her AT&T bill, and always kept her line of communication open to many friends and relatives, serving as a confidant, a sounding board, a cheerleader, and a friendly voice to anyone on the other end of the line.

As it turns out, Ima Jean also had keen nursing skills and was an amazing caretaker for Ray as he struggled in health after retirement. She impressed many doctors and nurses along the way, and her devotion to him was the truest kind — holding his hand and giving him comfort until the very end. Ima Jean loved being a wife and mother, but becoming a grandmother was her greatest honor… well, at least until the great-grandkids came along! She loved doting on all seven grandchildren — sewing clothes, making dolls, quilts, and other special personalized gifts, and of course cooking their favorite meals, such as her famous fried chicken and chicken ‘n’ dumplings. She made each grandchild feel like her favorite — just ask any one of them. Her love for them bonded them to each other and to her, bringing them back to her house regularly with families in tow. This was her greatest joy.

Ima Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ray Turner; three sisters: Bernice Cantwell, Elouise May, and Pearl Bobo; one brother: Doyle Rushing; and one granddaughter: Leah Olson.

She is survived by her three daughters: Carolyn O’Neal and husband, Bill; Beverly Olson and husband, Lee; and Phyllis Adams; one sister: Patricia Clark; seven grandchildren: David O’Neal and wife, Sherry; Stephanie O’Neal; Craig Olson; Kristin Adams; Abby Olson Moore and husband, Vince; Aaron Adams and wife, Jennie; and Landon Adams and wife, Tiffany; eight great-grandchildren: Julia and Turner O’Neal, Rachel Adams, Kaylee and A.J. Olson, Marvin and Max Moore, and Darcie Adams; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation services will be at Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home on Monday, December 30, 2019, from 5-7 p.m. Funeral services will be at the Elliott Street Church of Christ on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at 2 pm. Burial services will follow at the Breckenridge Cemetery.

Condolences may be made online at

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