ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bob Turner, longtime Albuquerque Ford dealership owner known for his “no bull” commercials, has died, his daughter said Tuesday.
Turner, who died last week after a long illness, had turned 83 just last month.
He became owner of Bob Turner Ford Country in 1990 and remained president until 2012, when it was sold and turned into Power Ford.
“He was a great community businessman and leader,” said Dennis Snyder, president of Rich Ford. “He was driven to be No. 1. He wanted to make sure everyone who drove a Ford drove a Ford from him.”
Turner was also known for his community involvement. He helped set up booster programs for Lobos basketball and started a program in which local car dealers donate vehicles to University of New Mexico coaches. He also was involved with the American Cancer Society and as chair of the William H. Tucker Golf Foundation, which hosts a tournament that raised money for children with cancer to go to a summer camp in New Mexico.
His daughter, Sharon Turner Davidson, said her dad had a “corny” sense of humor that led him to appear in dealership commercials dressed as a bullfighter or sitting atop a jackalope.
“Everybody in town saw that sense of humor when they would see him on commercials,” she said. “It told who he was.”
Little known about Turner was that he wrote poems — love poems to his wife, but also verses about himself, Turner Davidson said.
And he loved to dance, whether it was the two-step or swing. In recent years he often could be found carrying out his passion at the Bear Canyon Senior Center.
“He was an avid dancer all his life,” his daughter said.
Turner was born on May 26, 1932, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“I admire the fact that he would get up in the morning and milk the cow before he went to school,” Turner Davidson said. But he promised himself that he would provide well for his family, and he wanted to be “very successful,” she said.
Turner graduated from the University of Texas and served in the U.S. Navy, according to a news release.
He began his career with the Ford Motor Co. in 1961 and managed the Albuquerque Ford dealership, Rich Ford, from 1966-1990. He left after purchasing the old Frontier Ford on Lomas and eventually moved the dealership to Montaño.
Running his own dealership was deeply satisfying to him, his daughter said.
“I think he finally felt that he reached what he had been working for for so many years,” she said.
Services for Turner will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Copper Pointe Church, 10500 Copper NE.
The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the UNM men’s “6th Man Club” and the women’s “3 Point Club” basketball programs, 2 Woodward Center, 700 Lomas NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87102. The family asks that those attending wear Lobo red.
He is preceded in death by his sister, Pam Bomar. Survivors include brother Douglas Turner and wife Suda of Albuquerque; son Larry Turner and wife Karen Turner of Albuquerque; daughter, Sharon Turner Davidson and husband Ron Davidson of Albuquerque; grandchildren, Jennifer and Trevor Turner and Savannah and Alannah Davidson and step-grandchildren, Jason Williams of Phoenix and Ashley Davidson of Tijeras.