Music 01

Joseph Robert Turner

September 1, 1954 ~ August 29, 2018 (age 63) 63 Years Old

Joseph Turner Obituary

Joseph Robert Turner


 Joseph (Joe) was born on September 1, 1954, in Aberdeen, Washington, to Carolyn Finney and William Turner. After a brief battle with cancer, he passed away peacefully at Swedish Hospital on August 29, 2018.


The oldest of four children, Joe was raised in a loving family.  The Turners moved to the Los Angeles area in 1963, relocated to Klamath Falls, and then settled in Centralia in 1966. Joe graduated from Centralia High School and attended Central Washington University.


After college, he held various jobs in Seattle and Port Angeles, Washington, training people with developmental disabilities. He then moved to Eugene, Oregon, and working through the University of Oregon, was a supervisor in a sheltered workshop providing printer cables and electronic assemblies for Hewlett Packard.  Wanting to do something different, Joe made a life-changing decision to visit his brother Scott in New York City. There on October 1, 1986, at Scott’s birthday party in Central Park, he met his future wife, Kathy McGuire,


The rest is history. Joe wanted to stay on the east coast and was hired as a data analyst at University of Vermont in Burlington. He and Kathy dated for the next year, then he persuaded her to relocate to Winooski, Vermont, where they lived from 1987 to 1992.


In 1990, Joe was hired as IT /Circulation Manager for a new, progressive Vermont-based mail-order company, Seventh Generation, the first North American home-care company to bring 100% recyclable paper products to market as well as adopt totally chlorine-free processing for its baby and personal care products. Joe donned a suit for his interview and was completely surprised and over-dressed as the founders and first 6 employees were eating granola and sitting on bean bag chairs! Joe told them his wife made him wear the suit and he was hired anyway. He was responsible for all systems and software development and managed a team of 20+ employees and contractors. During the 20th Anniversary Earth Day Celebrations of 1990, 500,000 people requested catalogs.


Joe and Kathy married on September 21, 1991, and their son Jack was born the following year. Having experienced the freezing winters and below-zero winds off Lake Champlain, and wanting to be closer to his family, Joe proposed a plan to telecommute from Seattle. The company agreed and Joe, Kathy, and Jack moved to Seattle on October 1, 1992. Three days later, Joe had his computer, fax and modem set up in cousin Greg’s basement and was ready to go.  He worked for Seventh Generation for the next 5 years, honing his expertise in catalog and direct sales, database management, consumer data analytics, and email marketing.

In 1998 Joe joined Starbucks and there he remained for the next 20 years, working as a Database Marketing Manager, a Business Systems Manager, and Decision Scientist Principal.


Starbucks was a perfect place for Joe — he was appreciated for his love of coffee, his humor, his technical expertise, and his unique creativity in analyzing and understanding the power of consumer data. Joe was ahead of his time when it came to data; he helped form and shape the catalog, the Starbucks card program, and the Loyalty program — My Starbucks Rewards. Joe managed and mentored a data operations team and was involved in US and international marketing and CRM projects. “Joe knows” and “If you’re confused, you’re getting it” are sayings that will always be remembered at Starbucks.


Daughter Emma was born in 1996, and the family relocated from Ballard to West Seattle, where they reside today.


Joe had many passions — his family, friends, dog Eddie, hiking, golf, travel, coffee, good food, UW Husky basketball team, airplanes, and most of all music. He listened to, went to concerts, enjoyed and collected all genres of music, from classical to rock & roll and particularly jazz, funk, R&B and Brazilian styles. His grand passion was the guitar, which he played daily. He dabbled with the piano, banjo, and ukulele, but always returned to the guitar.


Joe will be greatly missed by his wife, Kathy McGuire, and their two children, Jack and Emma Turner of Seattle; his mother, Carolyn Finney of Seattle; his father, William (Bill) Turner of Camano Island; his brother Dan Turner, wife Virginia, and nieces Parkavi and Amanda Turner of Seattle and Washington DC; brother Scott Turner and husband Scott Brignoni of Walnut Creek, California; sister Jane Kadyk and husband Dave of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; cousin Greg Ensley and husband Philip Milnor of Seattle; and his extended Turner & McGuire families, lifelong friends, and work colleagues.


Joe, we will miss your smile, your humor, your music and your soul. Know that you made a difference. Joey T - so very loved and forever in our hearts! 


A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, September 23, at Dakota Park Place in West Seattle. Donations can be made to, an organization transforming lives with the gift of music.


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Celebration of Life
September 23, 2018

3:00 PM
Dakota Place Park
4304 SW Dakota St
Seattle, WA 98116


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