Utah deputies killed 3 days after marriage remembered as big hearted
Jul 14, 2023, 6:41 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2023, 2:27 pm
OGDEN, Utah — Two Davis County sheriff’s deputies who were killed in a motorcycle crash just three days after their marriage were remembered as people with big hearts.
Family members remembered the pair at a memorial service Friday as people who always lived their lives to the fullest and always made time for family.
A memorial service was held at the Dee Events Center for Cpl. Steven Lewis, 54, and deputy Jennifer Turner, 39.
The two were married on June 30. But just three days later on July 3, while off duty, they were involved in a crash while riding a motorcycle on South Weber Drive near 725 East after investigators say they apparently had difficulty negotiating a curve and hit another vehicle.
Lewis, who previously served in the U.S. Army for six years, joined the sheriff’s office in 2018. Turner joined in 2020. Both have three children from previous relationships.
Lewis and Turner were both deputies with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, and that’s where they met.
It’s also where both families say each of them found happiness in each other.
“The families hardly knew each other. And now we really feel like one family because everybody has been so gracious and loving and it’s been beautiful,” said Angie Seager, who is Steven’s sister.
On Friday, the couple were remembered for living their lives to the fullest.
Karissa Lewis remembered her father as “one hell of a host. He loved the gathering of his loved ones for food, drink and just time together.”
If they went to the movies, Lewis said it became an event and her father would buy popcorn and drinks for everyone. If they went out to dinner, he would be sure to order plenty of appetizers for everyone to share.
“Steven made friends very, very easily,” his brother Sam Lewis said. “He was genuine, patient and caring.”
Jessie Seager, Steven Lewis’ niece, said her uncle had a larger-than-life personality and was the person she most looked forward to seeing at family gatherings. But he also was a caring person who embodied the notion of unconditional love.
“(He) didn’t care where you came from. He didn’t judge. He loved the people in his life because of who they were,” she said. “He also showed up for people he loved.”
Even though both were successful in their careers, it’s the little personal stories both families will cherish, like how Turner could hold her own against her brothers growing up and even gave one a bloody nose during a scrap.
“My dad died young. Only 54,” Karissa Lewis, who is Steven Lewis’s daughter, said. “I have to say, though, he lived a full life. He was always chasing his dreams and never let anything hold him back.”
“I always looked up to him. He was always super fun. I definitely wanted to be like him when I was a younger kid,” Sam Lewis said.
Turner was remembered as having a fiery spirit and was always looking for a new adventure. But she always had the backs of the people she loved, and “was an absolute rock for her kids.”
“Passionate” is how Daniel Peterson says he will remember his sister.
“I will forever miss that passion,” he said. “We have lost two stars in our sky. Two stars that shone very bright.”
He encouraged others to honor the couple by living as they did, with passion.
Daryl Peterson II concurred that his sister would want others to “live your dash.” He explained that every person has a birth date and a day they die. Between those dates, they have their “dash.”
“Love your dash,” he said, “Live it like it matters, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.”
Living your “dash” means to “live carefree, have a good time, and love one another, and take every opportunity to be with those you love and care about,” Daryl Peterson said.
Family members of both Lewis and Turner said the couple were happy together, and they wish they would have had more time to get to know the new bride and groom.
“We mourn the loss of this great spirit and the soulmate he takes with him,” Sam Lewis said.
“(He) brought happiness into her life that she really needed,” Tonielyn Jorgensen, Jen Turner’s older sister, added.
The musical composition “Remember Me” from the Disney movie “Coco” was played, as family members said Turner loved Disney movies.
During the service, the Davis County sheriff’s honor guard escorted the urns that contained Steven Lewis’ and Jen Turner’s ashes to and from the podium where Friday’s memorial was conducted. Folded American flags were placed with each urn as members of the honor guard stood watch.
Funeral services were held Friday morning for Lewis and Turner.
The services began at the Dee Events Center in Ogden and ended at the Brigham City Cemetery where their ashes were buried together.
“They just made each other the absolute best version of themselves. It’s a shame it was so short, but it was beautiful while it lasted,” Daniel Peterson, Jen Turner’s brother, said.
Since the two were in law enforcement, their cemetery service had full honors with a bugler and a 21-gun salute.
Jen Turner’s brother played the bagpipes at the cemetery during the memorial.
“It is just such a sacred thing,” said Daryl Peterson. “It makes it easier when you are playing with others because when you’re playing with others it helps share the burden.”
Even though each family lost one of their own, they’re now looking at it as how many new family members they have gained.
“It is amazing how one tragedy can bring together a whole world. Not just a city or a state, but a whole world,” Daryl Peterson said.
“We have lost two stars in our sky. Two stars that shone very brightly and something that has left our sky darker. It certainly has mine,” Daniel Peterson said. “But as you look around, we find we are all connected, and we see many more stars appearing because of Jen and Steven.”