In loving memory of Pastor T
John Turansky was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1933. His parents’ names were Carolyn and John Turansky. His family was originally from Czechoslovakia, but they moved to Canada a few years before John was born. His two older sisters, Emily and Barbara, were born in Czechoslovakia. John was very interested in his heritage. He learned to speak Slovak and visited Czechoslovakia several times. He enjoyed meeting his relatives and teaching English in creative ways that incorporated the Bible and Christian principles into his lessons. He also spoke on the radio in Czechoslovakia.
John accepted Christ as a teenager when he heard Billy Graham speak at a Youth For Christ Rally. Serving the Lord and spreading the Good News became a central focus in John’s life.
John met his future wife, Shirley Beere, at a football game through a mutual friend when he was sixteen and she was fourteen. Their first significant time together was at an ice skating party where they spent most of the evening skating together and getting to know each other. John called her soon after and invited her to attend a Youth for Christ rally with him. Since this would be her first official date, they had to have permission from Shirley’s mother. After checking out the event and John, her mother agreed Shirley could go. They had a great time together that night and that is the beginning of their love story.
John and Shirley enjoyed attending church and youth group events together. John admired the way Shirley’s family was close and had good relationships, and he enjoyed spending time at her home. They also like to visit Jackson Park and walking across the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit, Michigan.
After high school John Attended Wheaton College, and he and Shirley wrote to each other and saw each other on breaks from School. John proposed on one of those school breaks, and he and Shirley were married in Windsor when he was 22 and she was 20. They lived in the Wheaton, Illinois, area where Shirley worked and John finished college. They started their family in 1957 when their oldest son Scott was born. Mark was born in 1959; Kent was born in 1962, and Lori was born in 1964.
John always made his family a priority, and he used his energy and creativity to make time with his wife and kids fun and meaningful. He often planned outings and trips, and helped the family work together so they could be freed up to enjoy them. From the time the children were very young he helped them memorize Scripture and learn principles from God’s Word. He made these times enjoyable with songs, games, and creative activities.
Scott remembers the time they all sat in a dark closet. His Dad turned on a flashlight and taught them about Jesus being the light of the world. His Mom opened the door to offer them some treats. Dad took the treats and thanked her but said they needed to close the door so it would be dark for that activity. Scott thinks he was three or four at the time. He also remembers marching around the house banging on a pan with a wooden spoon singing, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the World. First John…..” John liked to make homemade cards and books for his children and grandchildren to help them memorize Scripture or just for fun. He loved to play games with his kids and grandkids and often used those times to teach them character qualities. He loved the beach, backgammon, and traveling. John visited several countries in Europe and also took mission trips to Africa and Indonesia.
John has been a Pastor and Christian Education Director in California, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and North Carolina. He taught at Midwest Christian College, International College and Graduate School, and Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. John has served the Lord faithfully for over fifty years, teaching, preaching, counseling, training, discipling, planting churches, and leading hundreds to a personal faith in Christ.
John’s messages were always practical, humorous, and inspiring. When he was teaching about dating and preparing for marriage he often said, “You don’t fall in love, you fall down stairs or into ditches. You plan your love life! You don’t just want to marry a Christian. You want to marry someone who is going somewhere!” He had a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and he’d often say, “Let’s go, go, go!” And at the end of each message he would ask, “So what, how does this apply to me?” He wanted people to not just listen to the message, but thoughtfully consider how to use the principles from the Bible to everyday life. He always gave practical suggestions on how to apply Scripture to life and encouraged everyone to take those principles home, to work, to school, and wherever they would go.
His example of memorizing Scripture and teaching verse-by-verse through books of the Bible gave him great wisdom, and that in turn helped the people he taught to become mature believers who loved others and were able to pass on what they had learned. John and Shirley’s shelves are filled with scrapbooks containing hundreds of cards, letters, and emails from people whose lives have been touched by their friendship and ministry over the years.
Today John and Shirley have thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They have passed on to them a wonderful heritage and great example of faithful loving commitment in marriage, making family a priority, and living out the principles in God’s Word as you serve Him and love others.