On December 16, 2021, Toni Turner (Betty Louise Ensley) passed peacefully at her home in Tiburon, California, at the age of 92. Toni was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, on February 19, 1929; her parents were Ruby Catherine (Robinson) and Louis Henry Ensley. Toni, a nickname received in college, moved to San Francisco following graduation in 1948. She was a business owner and single parent who raised her sons in duplexes that she built in Tiburon. Toni enjoyed a full life despite challenging times and will be remembered with love and admiration.
Toni began her life in a small town southwest of Oklahoma City, near Fort Sill. Her father was a popular local businessman who operated a home and auto supply store and invested in residential real estate. A natural born salesperson, Toni boasted she sold the most washing machines at the store because she took the time to learn the manual backward and forward. She was an accomplished student, graduating with various honors. She attended Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College while supporting herself as a portrait photographer. After receiving her associate degree in commerce, she packed up her life possessions and headed to San Francisco, where she worked for years as a secretary for the California Wine Institute and various brokerage firms.
In 1955, she married Francis H. Turner and they moved to Sausalito. Only weeks after the birth of their son Michael, Francis died of a heart attack at age 44. It was a tragic loss for Toni, but she persevered, as was her nature. In 1962 her son Brooke P. Halsey, Jr. was born. It was around this time that she opened a children’s clothing store, The Pied Piper, in Tiburon, and later a second store in San Anselmo. She famously followed the stock market, was a talented seamstress, loved to try new recipes, and enjoyed ballroom dancing. She maintained her wonderful sense of humor to the end of her life. When asked by a nurse shortly before her passing if she was allergic to anything, she quickly replied, “Yes, men.” She attended the Christian Science Church in Belvedere. Our family would like to thank her neighbor Brenda Bottum for all the love and support she gave to Mom.
She is survived by her son Michael Turner and wife Deborah, son Brooke Halsey and wife Karen, and grandchildren Kelly Kristen Turner, and Brennen and Lauren Halsey. She was preceded in death by her brothers Robert and Grover Ensley.
Services are to be held in Lawton, Oklahoma, on April 23 at Becker-Rabon Funeral Home, 1502 NW Fort Sill Blvd., Lawton, Oklahoma 73507. To contact the family, please send correspondence to Brooke Halsey at P.O. Box 287, Tiburon, CA 94920.