Caryl Turner: Longtime Edmonds resident had a deep love of animals

Caryl Turner (Barcott)

July 14, 1940 –
January 16, 2023

Caryl passed away with her daughter and husband by her side in her Edmonds, Washington home on Monday, January 16, 2023. She was 82 years old.

Caryl Barcott was born on July 14, 1940 to her loving parents, Louis and Gertrude Barcott in Everett, Washington. Caryl graduated from Everett High School in 1958 and attended Everett Junior College where she met Ralph Turner who would later become her husband. After graduating with her Associate Degree, Caryl moved to Seattle and was hired by the engineering firm Harstad Associates. Caryl was the “Mary Tyler Moore” of her day: single, with a great job, her own apartment and her dream car, a light blue Oldsmobile convertible. Caryl later reunited with her college sweetheart, Ralph and after a torrid romance, married and remained very much in love as soul mates throughout their 56 year marriage.

Caryl and Ralph resided in the Queen Anne area of Seattle until their only daughter, Lisa was born. In 1968, they moved to Edmonds, Washington where they resided for over 30 years.

While in Edmonds, Caryl worked for several different engineering firms as office and marketing manager. During this time, she and Ralph preferred traveling to pristine, remote areas in British Columbia, Baja California and the Islands of Tonga. In their leisure time, they built a cabin on John’s Island in the San Juan Islands which they enjoyed for years along with a cabin they renovated in Dent, Idaho.

Caryl was a devoted mother. She and her daughter were best friends that did everything together. Words cannot describe the incredible bond they shared.

Anyone who met Caryl could see her physical beauty and could sense her extraordinary spirit of empathy, approachability and intelligence underneath. Caryl was a wonderful counselor who listened more than she spoke which led many of her friends and co-workers to confide in her.

Caryl’s compassion extended to her deep love of animals. She was especially affected by how many of “man’s best friends” ended up in kill shelters as they could not find homes.

Caryl set out to make a difference and with her husband concentrated on adopting large breed dogs as they were often more difficult to place. Throughout the years, Caryl and Ralph adopted numerous Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands from a puppy mill in Kansas, humane societies and shelters in New Mexico, Wyoming and Washington.

During many out-of-state rescues, Caryl became aware of the plight of farm animals; coming face-to-face with their misery, suffering and confinement at dairies, stock yards and auctions. After witnessing their short and tragic lives, Caryl became an inspired vegan and sought to find a large parcel of land where she and Ralph could keep their rescued dogs, feral cats and farm animals. In 1999, after searching for a year, they found a beautiful, secluded 80-acre property in the foothills of Sequim, Washington near the Olympic National Forest.

Several years later, Caryl retired from CHS Engineers and moved to Sequim with her already retired husband where they developed and founded the non-profit Precious Life Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary was the largest on the Olympic Peninsula. For the next 15 years, Caryl fulfilled her dream of living among an incredible array of wildlife and rescued farm and companion animals who found a forever home.

Caryl experienced a number of serious health problems throughout her life and overcame most of them. However, in April 2021, she suffered a stroke which she worked extremely hard to recover from only to learn she had Stage 4 ovarian cancer in October of the same year.

Caryl fought valiantly undergoing chemotherapy, numerous trips to the hospital and countless invasive medical procedures. She was in several rehab facilities but was able to spend the final 8 months of her life at home with her daughter, Lisa.  Despite being confined to a wheel chair and eventually bedridden, she never lost her sense of humor and kind and loving spirit.

Caryl’s only concern was the well-being of her daughter and husband. She also reminisced about many of the animals they rescued that had touched her so deeply.  Caryl’s husband and daughter know how blessed they were to be part of her beautiful story. A soul so self-less and wise, so non-judgmental and kind and loving towards all life.

Caryl was predeceased by her parents Louis and Gertrude Barcott. She leaves behind her husband, Ralph Turner, daughter Lisa Turner, brother-in-law Michael (Cindy) Turner, cousins, many friends and two beloved granddogs.

Caryl was laid to rest on Valentine’s Day at the Edmonds Cemetery.

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