Sharing our Links to the Past
by Wally and Frances Gray

Ella Mae Turley Judd (a source)

We are grateful for the many biographical details that Ella Mae Judd has provided us for this site. With her permission we are printing here a brief biographical sketch written for the January 2000 edition of the Theodore Turley Family Newsletter. Ella Mae is currently editor of that publication.

Life Sketch of Ella Mae Turley Judd
By Ella Mae Judd

The first great gift of my life, other than the truly greatest gift, that of being able to partake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ while in mortality, is the blessing of being born to my particular parents, and into the Theodore
Turley family. My father and mother, Wallace Mar and Margaret Evva Wimmer Turley, taught me from my very beginning the importance of my heritage. I was born 11 September 1930 and was raised in the wonderful little town of Woodruff, Arizona, where most of the town was related.

When I was in the eighth grade we moved to Mesa, Arizona, and there I was introduced to many new Turleys. After high school in Mesa I attended BYU. During my time at BYU, along with my degree in elementary education I also acquired more than 60 hours of religion credit. As a special bonus (two educations for the price of one!) I was hired to be secretary for the entire Division of Religion, where for four years I learned, among other things, to type manuscripts for church books authored by many of the leading authors of the day. After my graduation I worked for one year as personal secretary to BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson.,

In my church history classes at BYU, and as I became fascinated with biographies of quite a few early church leaders, I soon recognized there were many references to Theodore Turley. Finally in the summer of 1951 I felt inspired to compile all of my references, along with other research I was able to do at the BYU Library and the Church Historian's Office, into my little book entitled Biography and Autobiography of Theodore Turley, a project which brought great joy to me. My parents and many other relatives greatly encouraged and helped in this endeavor.

After college I was married in the Salt Lake temple to Gerard Forsyth Judd, also descended from pioneers, who was finishing his doctorate in chemistry at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. We lived there for a year, where our first child was born prematurely and lived but four hours. We next moved to Austin, Texas, where a little branch of the church was just turning into a ward, and my husband was called to be bishop.

We met many new Turleys in Texas, including the Stake Patriarch, Henry Eyring Turley and his family (descended from Edward Franklin and AIda Elizabeth Eyring Turley). During the ten years we lived in Texas we added to our own family three adopted daughters and had five more children born to us. We moved from Texas to Phoenix, Arizona,   in 1964 and there were blessed with three more children. In 1992 we moved to Glendale, Arizona.

My brother Wayne produced a history of our father, and together we published a history of our mother. I have also published two volumes on the life and descendants of my grandfather, Alma Ruben Turley, and a history of my great-grandfather, William Wesley Willis. From 1988-1991 I wrote a faith-promoting book about a Tongan woman, From Tonga to Zion, which I would be happy to share with anyone who is interested.

At this state in life [January 2000] we feel fortunate to be living in close proximity to the Mesa Arizona temple, and near beloved family members. I am sure I speak for all readers of the Turley Newsletter in expressing our love for each other, and for those who have made our lives on this earth possible.

The e-mail address for Ella Mae is

Home Page
Biographical Index | Theodore Turley Family
The Bushman Family
Biography and Autobiography of Theodore Turley
The Value of Genealogical Stories


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