Kathryn Sue Lynch Turner
Kathy was born November 30, 1945 to Hubert Lynch and Mary Weliver (both of Darlington,
IN). After graduation from High School, Kathy married Carl Turner. They adopted a
Niece Kristine and then Kathy gave birth to a daughter, Stephanie. Life was good and Kathy was a normal young adult who enjoyed the outdoors and life in general.
One afternoon all that changed. Kathy was visiting her grandfather with her mom and dad
when on their trip back home, they were T-boned by distracted driver only blocks from home. Kathy suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She
was 27 years old at the time of her devastating injury. She was hospitalized for over a year ·
and went through many surgeries and physical therapy, learning how to transfer to and from
a wheelchair. She resumed her married life and was learning how to do things from a totally different perspective as wife and mother. It wasn't long before the stresses caused marital problems and the marriage ended.
Some years after her accident, Kathy embarked on a new venture as a volunteer with the Chaplaincy Department at Methodist Hospital. Her focus was in the Neuro-Surgery area and spinal-cord-injury patients in particular. She could readily relate to what patients were facing and enduring in their recovery. Her warm smile and friendly manner soon helped her broaden her responsibilities to coordinate a peer-volunteer program which she started at Methodist and later at Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. She worked with spinal cord injury patients to teach them how to visit and encourage others in their recovery from this traumatic injury, both quad and paraplegics. She was embraced by both staff and patients on the unit and was an invaluable resource to the Staff Chaplains in understanding the ups and downs of men and women who were injured and going through the milieu of therapies in their recovery.
Kathy had the gift of lighting up the room with her endearing smile and her readiness to be involved in the care of patients and families. She at times could be a little testy when needed and was part of the overall team evaluating the needs of handicapped people coming to Methodist. Once she noticed that the carpet leading to and from the parking garage to the hospital was placed in such a way that it tended to pull a person in a wheel chair to the right or left. This made it difficult to go up or down easily without assistance. She wrote a letter to key persons about the need to replace the carpet and it was done not long afterward.
She was also a key advocate in her community of Plainfield and tenacious in following up on recommendations she made that would help improve whatever she noticed made difficult for handicapped people to get around in the community, whether it was shopping, eating at particular restaurants or going to theaters or sporting events.
She was honored by the Professional Chaplains Association for her work with patients and staff and received the Service to Mankind Award at their annual meeting. She presented a workshop at a PCA meeting in San Diego, CA, on "Aging with a Disability", with her daughter, Stephanie, who was "grilled" by the participants on what it was like growing up with a parent who was handicapped. Of course, Stephanie, never saw her mother as handicapped. She was just "mom".
Kathy continued to be active in her church and has been a good resource in evaluating the needs of the handicapped. The church also embraced Kathy and held an annual "golf' outing dedicating the income to assist Kathy with on-going financial concerns. The men's club held an annual Pancake Breakfast in Kathy's behalf as well. This was also a way for Plainfield United Methodist Church to fulfill their Outreach Ministry programs and Kathy was very appreciative of their support and efforts.
Ken Reed, Director of Pastoral Care at Methodist Hospital and Bill Clayton, Pastor of Plainfield United Methodist Church, spearheaded a drive to obtain funds to amplify the money made from the sale of the house Kathy lived in for many years following her injury. A new accessible home was built under Kathy's direct supervision that has made it easier for her to manage her independence.
One of Kathy's special joys in life has been her daughter, Stephanie's children, Kaiden and Jesika. Kathy had the pleasure of taking care of them for about 5 years while Stephanie worked. A strong and lasting bond has developed between them as a result. Kathy's declining health made it impossible for her to continue to provide this service.
Life did not get any easier as Kathy pushed on toward the "Golden Years" but she knows she was blessed to have so many friends who stood by her and supported her throughout her life.
God is good and now Kathy rests in his loving arms. All praise to God.
Survivors include her children: Stephanie Suiter (Jamie) and Kristine Lovas (Matt). Grandchildren: Kaiden Suiter, Jesika Suiter and Sheena Turner. Step granddaughter: Ashley Suiter. Great Grandchildren: Reece Chappell, Khloe, Chappell and Brayden Chappell.
Calling hours will be on Friday June 18, 2021 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Plainfield United Methodist Church 600 Simmons Street. Memorial services will follow at 6 p.m. with Ken Loudenback officiating
Hall-Baker Funeral Home, Plainfield is handling arrangements.
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Plainfield United Methodist Church
600 Simmons Street, Plainfield IN 46168
Darlington United Methodist Church
201 W Harrison St, Darlington IN 47940
Darlington Public Library
203 W Main St, Darlington IN 47940