Tonda L. Turk

Born: Mon., Jun. 11, 1951
Died: Wed., Jul. 1, 2020

Funeral Service

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Tonda Lee Turk (Emerick) of Pendleton, OR died July 1, 2020 at the age of 69 following a resolute battle with cancer. She passed peacefully at her daughter’s home surrounded by family. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Tonda was born June 11, 1951 in Nampa, ID to Donald E Emerick, Sr and Chlora Belle (Burgess) Emerick. She lived in Kansas, Idaho, and Oregon growing up. In 1968 she met and married James Turk. They had two children; a daughter, Rache’lle and a son, Bryan. They divorced in 1978 and Tonda did not re-marry. She lived in Pendleton her entire adult life, working at various establishments as a bartender and/or waitress. She worked at the Elks Lodge, Pendleton Eagles, Pendleton Country Club, The Saddle, The Packard and The Hut. She met many people working in the service industry and seemed to know everyone she ran into. She was an exceptionally hard worker, at home and on the job, providing for herself and her children. At home she would spend her time working in her yard tending her lawn and flowers, taking great pride in her home’s appearance. She was a master of taking what life gave her and making it more beautiful than it began. She enjoyed helping her children any way she could, and played a primary role in making their weddings and graduations truly memorable occasions. Being a grandmother was her greatest joy, and she adored her five grandchildren and four-legged grand-doggies. She took pride in spoiling them and always made each of them feel special. She took birthday and holiday celebrations seriously, with elaborately wrapped gifts that at times required special tools to open! She is preceded in death by both parents, her brother Don Emerick, her sister Sheila McGohon, nephew Donnie Dean Emerick. She is survived by her daughter Rache’lle Underwood and husband Matt of Pendleton, son Bryan Turk and wife Carrie also of Pendleton, grandchildren Madalyn and Travis Underwood, Rylee and Keagan Turk and Faylinn Campbell; a brother, Rick Emerick of Hermiston OR, and sister, Sandra Witt of California. Donations in her memory may be made to PAWS Pendleton. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements. Sign the online guestbook at

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