Aaron Turner, 36, of Monte Vista departed Kindred Hospital in Denver on Nov. 21 and went to be with his Lord, after losing his battle with chronic illnesses. He leaves behind his mother and father Charles and Barbara Wagner with whom he resided; son Elijah (Eli) Kuntz, of Durango; grandmother Jane Wagner, of Monte Vista; foster-brother Travis Minear, Granby; soul-brother Lael Shaw; mentor Melvin Headrick,La Junta; and numerous close friends. He was preceded in death by: love of his life Amy Klees, Durango; cousins Jim Sales, Rifle and Bruce Bickel, Mountain Home, AR.
He began his cooking career in Winter Park and Durango. While working as a chef on Martha's Vineyard, MA in 2004, he suffered a heart attack. In March, 2008 he had an experimental heart assist pump implanted in his chest. He struggled with chronic pain and infections, recently suffering multiple strokes and failing kidneys. He amazed doctors, and served as a physical and spiritual inspiration to those around him. Friends started teasing him about having 29 lives.
His passion was cooking and riding dirt bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs. He also enjoyed pets, shooting pool, old cars and trucks, Johnny Cash, art, gardening, camping, fishing, target practice and reading. Nature's grandeur was special to him, and he liked gazing at the night sky and watching sunsets. He seldom met a stranger and, above all, cherished family and friends.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 8 at Winter Park Christian Center in Tabernash, and at Valley Church of the Nazarene at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17 in Monte Vista. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, care of Valley Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 271, Monte Vista, 81144.