Karen Turgeon

“You Can Make a Difference”
Words and music by Scott Simpson
with Mrs. Burke’s 4th Grade Class
©2015 Scott Simpson




      Karen Turgeon

1942 she was born in Cheyenne
Mrs. Turgeon moved to her grandparent’s land
Then on to Spearfish to be a Spartan
She finally found “home”

In 8th grade she waitressed in a diner
If she cleaned a house, well it never looked finer
Got wrinkly clothes? She’d fix ‘em with her iron
She always worked with a smile

You can make a difference
With laughter and some style
You can make a difference
All it takes is a smile
See somethin’ needs doin’?
Get up and get it done!
You can make a difference
Not for a few – for everyone!
For everyone!

Graduated high school in 1961
Went to BH, became a teacher who was fun,
Tubed the creek, rode horse, made friends, enjoyed the sun
“You have to love your life”

For 29 years, she helped her students grow
She served her church, sang in the choir row.
Painting, sports and travel—everything she longed to know
To make the World a better place!


Grandfather was her hero—blue eyes, and a big laugh!
Her husband ranched and taught, he is her other half
One son and a daughter, each one found their own good path
The whole family lives her advice:

Chorus X2

For everyone!
For everyone!
For everyone!
For every

Karen Turgeon was born in 1942 at Cheyenne, Wyoming. As a baby, she moved to Wall, South Dakota, then to Hill City, and eventually to Spearfish where she started first grade. Her elementary memories include playing outside as a child, riding bike, skating, and reading. She especially enjoyed playing in Spearfish Creek, where it smelled so good! Her favorite memories are reserved for the friends that she made. Her philosophy was and still is, “Be a friend to get a friend.”

As she grew up, there were no organized sports, but that didn’t stop her from playing baseball on the corner lot or participating in a tackle football game. She tried not to let people know she loved playing tackle football and throwing a great spiral. When she caught another player’s heel in her eye during a game, she decided to make up a story about what had happened to her eye, since she was too embarrassed to say she was playing football. To this day, football is very important to her and she enjoys watching both the Spearfish Spartans and the Denver Broncos.

She graduated from Spearfish High School and then Black Hills Teachers College. She taught all grades from kindergarten through grade three during her 29 years of teaching. While she had other jobs during high school and college, teaching has been her favorite job. She loved being a teacher because kids are amazing!

Family is a big part of her life. Karen and her husband, Les, have one son and a daughter. She is very proud of their accomplishments in life. Now she is enjoying watching her two grandsons as they go through high school and college. Her brother, Roger, is her best friend and she enjoys spending time with him.

Mrs. Turgeon retired in 2000 after 29 years of teaching. She loves retirement because each day you have choices and she has a great day every day! Friends are still a huge part of her life and she treasures their friendships. She enjoys sleepovers with her friends, coffee dates, and having parties so she can cook for her friends. She enjoys her quiet time reading different types of books.

Doing creative art projects is another important part of her retirement. She also enjoys visiting people in the nursing home and helping them to have a great day. Her church family is very important to her. She has been a member of the United Church of Christ since age 5 and is very proud of being a member of this church. She enjoys music and singing in the church choir. However, you won’t find her singing songs in church from her favorite singer, ELVIS, or dancing to songs like they do on her favorite tv show, Dancing with the Stars.

She loves to travel and has gone to many places, but her favorite memory is a trip to the Grand Canyon where she and Les rode mules to the bottom and camped there for the night. Back home, her mule, Foley, is her favorite pet. Foley is extra patient and even though Karen broke her leg a few years ago, Foley welcomed her back for a ride, being extra careful with her. Karen and Les are working on plans for next year’s trip to Branson, Missouri.

Mrs. Turgeon taught us many things about life. She told us it is always important for kids to remember they are loved and are a worthy person. Remember to work hard, make a difference, and always have a SMILE.

Thank you, Mrs. Turgeon, for sharing your life story with us. Our lives have been enriched by knowing YOU!

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