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Obituary: Sandra 'Sue' Turpenen

For The Madera Tribune

Sandra “Sue” Turpenen.


Sandra “Sue” Turpenen a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. She was 65 years old. She was born in Selma, California, on January 23, 1956, to Roy Lee Bayless and Eva Jean King. She attended Madera High School but dropped out after her sophomore year. Years later, she obtained both her GED and CNA license in 2001 through Madera Adult School.

Upon leaving high school, she married Arthur Spangler of Madera in 1973 and became a “domestic engineer,” as she raised three children alongside him. Eventually, she and Arthur divorced, and she later married David Turpenen in 2002. They were married until the day of her passing.

Her passion later in life became waitressing. Her career started at Jan’s Cafe and DiCicco’s restaurant, both in Madera. She later moved to Farnesi’s restaurant, where she continued to work until her retirement. Farnesi’s became her home away from home. She LOVED her job as a waitress, and it was a natural fit because she had a servant’s heart. She always greeted you with a smile and went above and beyond. Making others feel welcome and loved was not just her job; it was her joy.

She had three children: Sherrie Bradley of Merced, Robert Spangler of Madera, and Tina Goff of Brighton, Illinois. Her children blessed her with eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is survived by four of her brothers Mike Bayless of Fresno; Steve and Robert Bayless, both of Selma; Brian Bayless of Visalia; and her sister, Barbara Bayless of Modesto. She is preceded in death by her brothers Daryl, Roy Gene, and Charles Bayless, her sister-in-law Jeannie Bayless, and her parents.

Sue was an avid reader, enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and playing word games.

She was also a huge 49ers fan. She loved to spend time tending her rose bushes and gardens at home. She was lovingly called Momma Sue by those closest to her. Her smile, her hugs, and her laughter will be missed by so many. Nothing will ever fill that void in our hearts. We love you, Momma Sue.

No memorial service is planned at this time. But, the family will notify her friends and loved ones in the future when a memorial will be held.



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