Mary Ellen Arnett Turner Grimes, 91, died Dec. 16, 2021, in Yucaipa surrounded by her loving family.
Mary Ellen was born Oct. 10, 1930, to Clyde Curlee and Lela Warren Arnett, in Oxnard. She was the youngest of six children.
Mary Ellen is a descendant of two of the oldest pioneer families (Warrens and Arnetts) in the area. For over 169 years, the Warren family has been an important part of the Inland Empire’s pioneer history. Mary Ellen’s mother, Lela Warren Arnett’s parents were Mark and Sylvia Paine Warren. Mark left the state of Maine when he was 18 years old and settled in the San Bernardino area in 1853, at the age of 21. Mark found work as a firefighter and he also began hauling commodities from Wilmington Port to Prescott, Ariz. It took three months to make the round trip. On one of these trips, he came upon a family in a broken-down wagon. He rescued the Paine family, who had been stranded in the desert on their migration from Texas to California, and brought them to his home in San Bernardino. In 1866, he married their daughter, Sylvia. They raised 11 children, Lela was the youngest. Mark hand dug a water well and Warren’s Well, as the area was known then, became a stage stop, watering hole for cattle ranchers and the center of social life for early settlers, which marked the beginning of the town of Yucca Valley.
Lela married Clyde Arnett and they settled in Yucaipa for several years before they moved to Ventura where Mary Ellen was born. She was 7 years old when they moved back to Yucaipa - on the same property where she died. For over 75 years, there has been a Warren family reunion every five years or so, and over the past 43 years, the Warrens and Arnetts have large family reunions every year in Yucaipa.
Mary Ellen graduated in 1948 from Redlands High School, where she met the love of her life, Dennis (Denny) Neil Turner. They were married on March 22, 1948, for 30 years, until Denny died in a traffic accident on the way to Lake Powell on July 21, 1978.
Mary Ellen and Denny started their own very successful carpet business in 1959 Turner’s Fine Carpets, which is still in operation by their son, Larry. They retired at a very young 40 years old, and began traveling around the United States, in motor homes built by Denny. They also loved boating and fishing and spent a great deal of time on the Colorado River and Lake Powell.
Mary Ellen was active with PTA, bowling and her favorite sport, golf. She was a member of Calimesa Country Club and later on a member of the Yucaipa Golf Club. She was an avid golfer and won many awards. She spent every weekend watching professional golf on TV. She was a member of the NRA and the Morongo Valley Historical Society.
GG-ma, (Grandma and Great Grandma) as her grandchildren knew her, hosted her annual grandchildren's Christ-mas party.
She is survived by her brother, Marion Arnett and his wife Ardyce, of Redlands, sister-in-law, Doris Broadbent, her husband Richard, sister-in-law, Donna Turner, and brother-in-law, Delbert Turner, all of Yucaipa. She is also survived by her three children; son, Larry Turner and his girlfriend, Charmaine, of Yucaipa, daughter, Sandie Gallagher and her husband, Mick, of Redlands, and daughter, Denice Turner, also of Yucaipa.
She is also survived by her seven grandchildren, Larry Richard (Ty) Turner, Daniel Turner, Ryan Gallagher and Dennis John (DJ) Gallagher, Robert Turner, Michelle Hyatt, Angelina Perlman, and 12 great- grandchildren, Gavin and Ian Turner, Ryder and Liam Gallagher, Bailey and John Gallagher, Caleb, Seth and Luke Hyatt, Elly Turner, Kaden and Makayla Perlman, and many others who called her GG-ma.
A celebration of life is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests making a donation to your favorite charity.