Official Obituary of

Jessie Mary Turner

June 14, 1951 ~ February 15, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old
Obituary Image

Jessie Turner Obituary

Jessie Turner was born on June 14, 1951, in The Pas, Manitoba, to Leona (nee Bittern) and Harry Parenteau. She was a strong woman whose life journey was a testament to resilience,
love, and dedication to her family, community, and friends.

Her traditional name was Circling Thunderbird and Jessie was a proud member of Pimicikamak Cree Nation. Growing up in Thicket Portage, Manitoba, she cherished moments at the fish camp
on Paint Lake and the trapline at Mile 6. From a young age, her responsibilities included looking after the camp, her siblings and cooking for the family – a role she embraced with grace and

During a challenging time when her mother, Leona, went to the Ninette Sanatorium for TB treatment for over two years, Jessie became the anchor that kept her siblings connected. Over the years her caring and protective nature continued to watch over Nora, Gilbert, Esabell, Dannyboy, Doreen, Gail and Ricky. Jessie was known for her natural beauty. In 1967, Jessie was chosen as the Manitoba Centennial Year Princess in Thicket Portage. Photographs were taken of her , and portraits were drawn of her in her regalia.

When she was 17 years old, Jessie met the love of her life, Arthur Turner, in Cranberry Portage where she attended high school. They settled in Cormorant, married, and started a family. Jessie’s dedication to her children was strong, instilling in them to be proud of their Indigenous heritage and intolerant of hate and racism. She advocated for them when mistreated and they knew they were safe when they with their mom. She carried on that advocacy to her grandchildren with passion and ferocity. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were most important in her life. She loved them with all her heart. She passed down traditional and cultural teachings to them as she knew they were gifted.

Jessie had an entrepreneurial spirit as the family hairdresser specializing in the Toni perm and the mushroom haircuts, practicing on family and friends. She opened a daycare in Cormorant
when she saw the need for childcare and this provided a service for the community and employment for four families. The daycare kids were raised on dancing to Mikisew Morning music, and Edge of Night was quiet time with the kids sitting around the TV. Jessie also supported her husband while he worked with the Turner Logging family business that would take him away from home weeks at a time.

Jessie loved her community and people. While she raised her children, she served as a Cormorant school committee member and an elected Cormorant Community Councilor. She played a crucial role in securing the community with running water. Education was important to her. She took religious studies with Granny Clark in Cormorant, which opened her eyes to respect all religions. Jessie went back to school to get her GED at 35 years old in Cormorant. She continued with a Nutrition Health Advisor certificate from Frontier School Division. In 1992, she moved her family to Winnipeg and registered at University of Manitoba for a Bachelor of Arts degree as a mature student. She graduated in 1997. She loved pursuing her education and learning.

After her degree, she started work at the Aboriginal Centre in Winnipeg at the Manitoba Association for Native Languages as the Executive Director, a Community Wellness Worker for Abinotci Mino-Ayawin, and then found her dream job as a Social Support Counselor at the Aboriginal Health & Wellness for over 20 years. She had a huge impact on the constituents she served as well as her colleagues, past and present. She was the most collaborative, responsive, and helpful person. She was consistent in the delivery of services. Whenever there was an alternative viewpoint in a particular situation, she would arrive at a solution. She treated her constituents with love and respect, no judgement, advocated for them to be treated fairly and equal. She loved her job, constituents, and her coworkers. Jessie also supported her coworkers as a union representative for approximately 15 years, advocating for her coworkers’ rights and equality for all employees.

In her personal life, Jessie embraced Indigenous culture and ceremonies and shared those teachings with her family. She joined a drum group with coworkers and the power of culture revitalization. Outside of work, Jessie enjoyed going to bingo, slots, playing cards, travelling with her sisters, and travelling to Thicket Portage, Cormorant and Thompson to see family. She loved to visit her nieces and nephews. She followed her great grandson Landyn in hockey and she was his biggest hockey fan. She loved all her grandchildren and great grandchildren, making sure they were well taken care of and dressed in nice clothes.

Jessie passed away in Winnipeg on February 15, 2024, at home surrounded by family at the age of 72 years old. She is survived by her husband Arthur Turner, children Jeanette (Darryl), Colin, Conrad (Andrea); grandchildren Rachel (Logan), Cadence, Dredan, Hailey; great grandchildren Landyn, Ares, Jackson, Tyson, and Kahlani; sisters Nora, Esabell, Doreen, and Gail; brothers Dannyboy (Sheila) and Ricky (Lena); numerous nieces and nephews, and many family and friends. She was predeceased by her parents Harry and Leona; grandparents Lawrence and Honora Pronteau, and William and Madeline Bittern; brothers Gilbert, Donald, Robert; sister Mabel; brother-in-law Tony; mother-in-law and father-in-law Leslie and Eileen; and numerous aunties, uncles, and cousins that were special to her.

Jessie Turner left a legacy of care, compassion, and love. As we remember her, let our hearts be filled with gratitude for the love, strength, and resilience she brought to her family and
community. Her spirit will continue to inspire, comfort, and guide us until the day we are reunited. She will be dearly missed, but her impact will live on in our hearts forever.


This is not a goodbye.
Until we meet again.
Funeral Service
Monday, February 26, 2024
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Eternal Grace Funeral Home
Colin Turner, Conrad Turner, Dredan Turner, Dannyboy Pronteau, Ricky Pronteau, Logan Tait-Reaume, Darryl Craig
Honorary Pallbearers:
Albert Bittern, Solomon Parenteau, Nora Bignell, Esabell Genaille, Gail Pronteau, Doreen Pronteau, Patsy Reid, Lena Johnson, Edie Turner, Jim Turner, Elaine Beardy,Ronnie Beardy, Kirsten Watkinson, Colin Watkinson, Charmaine Delaronde, Melanie Turner, Melissa Lundie, Desiree Turner, Lori Bignell, Andrea Watkinson, Douglas Genaille, Diana Genaille, Kendra Genaille, Rachel McKellep, Cadence Stevenson, Hailey Stevenson, and everyone else that supported and advocated for her.
Memorial Service:
Saturday, March 2, 2024
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
St. James the Apostle Anglican Church
10 Caribou Road
Thompson, MB

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