Former Durango resident Aaron Turner died Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, in Denver. He was 36.
Mr. Turner had suffered a heart attack eight years ago and had an experimental heart-assist pump implanted four years later. He suffered with chronic pain and infections, his family said, recently suffering multiple strokes and failing kidneys.
He was born to Barbara Turner on July 3, 1976, in White Bear Lake, Minn.
He began a cooking career in Winter Park and Durango, working in Durango from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Among other places, he worked at Chelsea’s London Pub and Scoot ’n’ Blues. After he left Durango, Mr. Turner attended culinary school.
He was a chef on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts when he had his heart attack.
His son, Eli Kuntz, said his father was “a very intelligent, very kind guy who was very in tune with people.”
His passion was cooking and riding dirt bikes, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Mr. Turner also enjoyed shooting pool, old cars and trucks, music, especially Johnny Cash, art, gardening, camping, fishing, target practice and reading. He was an avid chess player.
“Nature’s grandeur was special to him, and he liked gazing at the night sky and watching sunsets,” his family said. “He amazed doctors and served as a physical and spiritual inspiration to those around him. Friends started teaching him about having 29 lives.”
Mr. Turner was preceded in death by the woman his family called “the love of his life,” Amy Klees.
He is survived by his parents, Charles and Barbara Wagner, of rural Monte Vista, with whom he was living; son, Eli Kuntz of Durango; grandmother Jane Wagner of Monte Vista; foster brother, Travis Minear of Granby; and numerous great-aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles and extended family members.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at Winter Park Christian Center in Tabernash, and at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, at Valley Church of the Nazarene in Monte Vista.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, c/o VCN, P.O. Box 271, Monte Vista, CO 81144.