Barbara Reed Turner, conservationist and member of Long Grove pioneering family, dies at 100

  • Barbara Reed Turner, front left, was a member of a Long Grove pioneering family. She died Thursday at 100. Her father, Guy Reed, was Long Grove's first village president. In 2007, she joined former Trustee Warren Schmidt and Ann Dickson, wife of past Village President George Dickson, to view vintage photos at a Long Grove gallery.

      Barbara Reed Turner, front left, was a member of a Long Grove pioneering family. She died Thursday at 100. Her father, Guy Reed, was Long Grove's first village president. In 2007, she joined former Trustee Warren Schmidt and Ann Dickson, wife of past Village President George Dickson, to view vintage photos at a Long Grove gallery. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2007

 
 
Updated 4/9/2020 5:42 PM

Barbara Reed Turner, a member of a Long Grove pioneering family, died at her village home Thursday, according to the town's leaders. She was 100.

"Barbara has been a resident of our village since her youth and will be remembered as a cherished friend, leader and role model in our community," village leaders wrote in a joint announcement. "She was well known to a generation of students as the librarian at Kildeer Countryside School and was one of the founders of the Long Grove Historical Society, serving as curator and co-authoring a book about our local history."

 

Village President Bill Jacob, former village president and Long Grove Historical Society head Angie Underwood and park district board President Kent Tinucci announced Turner's death. They said Turned died peacefully at her home Thursday morning.

Turner celebrated her 100th birthday on June 13, and the village board declared June 2019 as Barbara Reed Turner Month.

She distinguished herself as an advocate for conservation, and was honored at the national and local levels, including with the 2010 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness.

Her family set aside 36 acres off Old McHenry Road that became the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve, now a regional attraction for bird enthusiasts and those who just enjoy the outdoors. Her parents, Guy and Florence Reed, moved into that natural setting when she was 9 years old. Her father was Long Grove's first village president.

Barbara married Harold Turner, a late WGN musician who played the station's grand pipe organ for everything from old radio dramas to TV's "The Bozo Show." They raised their family in a cabin that's now used for the nature center at 3849 Old McHenry.

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"Her stewardship of this property and her preservation efforts throughout Lake County distinguished Barbara for many honors and serve as an inspiration to us all," the village leaders wrote.

As part of Long Grove's salute to Turner last year, the village installed an honorary street with her name on it at the Ridgeland Lane-Old McHenry Road intersection, near the entrance to her longtime home.

Underwood said Turner's family intends hold a memorial gathering in the months ahead.

"She was very much a role model to me and so many others in Long Grove," Underwood said.

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