UD Love Stories 2021: Todd and Alana Turner
Feb 18, 2021
|Todd and Alana Turner|
It all started on Move-In Day
It was August 1997. Alana Ehrler (C'01), a University of Dubuque freshman at the time, had just moved all her belongings into her new home in Cassat Hall. Alana and her new floormate, Kim Rankin (C'01), decided to say hi to Kim's brother, Jake Rankin (C'00), who was a junior at the time. As the two new friends strolled over to Donnell Hall, little did Alana know that she would soon meet her future husband.
Todd Turner (C'00) and Jake were roommates. When Alana and Kim stopped by to say hi to Jake, they also got to meet Todd.
"She ended up meeting the most handsome guy on earth," Todd said.
From that day forward, Todd and Alana were pretty much inseparable and were always together with either group of friends. Needless to say, they hit it off and their friendship developed into much more.
The pair had similar interests and were involved in similar activities. Alana was a business administration and finance major, and Todd was a business administration and English major. They were members of the Model United Nations, where they traveled to different schools and participated in debates. Both were also active in Greek Life, Alana being a member of Lambda Tau Delta and Todd being an Athenaen. They also worked in the library for work-study jobs. Additionally, Todd was on the football and track teams.
After graduating in May 2000, Todd worked at the Telegraph Herald as a sales manager while Alana finished her senior year. It was also in this year that the couple decided to move in together in a little apartment in Asbury, Iowa.
Everyone knew that Todd and Alana were a perfect match and would spend their lives together. In fact, the couple worked summer jobs in 1998 to take a dream trip to Paris, and it was on this trip that everyone thought Todd would propose. That did not happen, but they did have the best time adventuring through Paris during spring break in 1999.
It wasn't until the following year, Alana's senior year, that Todd bought the perfect ring for Alana - although he didn't plan on it.
"My friend, Chad, was going to buy a ring for his girlfriend and asked me to come along. I had no intention of buying a ring too, but then I happened to find the perfect stone, and I knew I wanted to give it to Alana. So I ended up buying the ring that day, but I had to wait a few weeks for the band to come in. As soon as I had it in my possession, I wanted to give it to her. I couldn't wait," Todd said.
Alana was visiting her family in Galena, Illinois, the day Todd picked up the ring. Todd was so excited, he called her and asked her to come home right away. Not knowing what to do with the ring, he hid it in a nearby shoe.
"When Alana got home, I asked her to hand me the tennis shoe. I think she was a bit surprised by such a request," Todd laughed. "I know it was simple and silly, but she loved the ring, so it was all good!"
Following Alana's graduation in May 2001, the couple bought a house on Grandview Avenue in Dubuque. During this time, Alana worked as a real estate loan processor at Premier Bank and Todd was still at the Telegraph Herald.
The couple had an 18 months long engagement and tied the knot on April 4, 2002. The two were married outside of Galena at Alana's small church, Shepherd of the Hills in Scales Mound, Illinois, set in the countryside. The reception followed with 300 to 400 guests at the Blue Moon Room at the Holiday Inn in Dubuque.
"Our wedding was filled with family, friends, smiles, and so much more. We have had many tell us it is still one of their favorite weddings they have attended. We like to think it's because things were just simple, genuine, and filled with love. People also told us for years after the wedding that they really loved our cake - it was from Walmart. We always found that entertaining," Alana said.
The couple couldn't celebrate their marriage without many UD friends who became family. John Wiese (C'00), Jake Rankin (C'00), Chad Fenwick (C'01), and Amber (Parker) Carter (C'01) were part of the wedding party. Other helpful friends and UD alumni were there to help make sure the day ran smoothly. Particularly Crystal Fruit (C'01), Courtney (Konrath) Nelson (C'00), and Mandy (Moss) Wauters (C'01), who were in charge of making sure the wedding cake arrived in one piece - although the girls stopped for a snack at Dairy Queen after picking up the cake, which took longer than expected. The cake barely made it to the reception in time!
"We were a few years out of college, and the reception was pretty much a UD event as the A's and Lambdas filled the room," Todd said.
The newlyweds lived in Dubuque for a few years following the wedding. Todd started a new career at McGraw-Hill Education in January 2003. By the end of that year, the couple decided they wanted to be closer to family in Galena, so they packed up and moved to Illinois, just two weeks before their first baby was born.
Todd and Alana both keep busy with their careers. Todd has been with McGraw-Hill for 18 years, currently serving as the Enterprise Account Manager. Alana is the co-owner of Poopsie's in Galena, which she purchased with a friend in October 2010 and reopened the store in March 2011. Poopsie's always had a special place in Alana's heart as she had worked there on and off during college. The two business partners also own and operate Spotsie's, a new venture born during the pandemic. In August 2020, Alana and her business partner decided to take a leap of faith and opened the new retail store, with its mission solely to sell products that give back to the world around us. Not only do the products sold at Spotsie's support a cause, Spotsie's also donates a portion of their profits to local charities. Together, Todd and Alana own and run Main Street Inn in Galena.
They both love to travel, which Alana said "is great because we both get to hit the road for work."
The Turners were blessed with two wonderful children. McKayla, who is 17, and Brady, who is 13 and often tells his parents he intends to attend UD once he graduates high school.
So what else is going on in life right now? Todd answers saying, "Well, not a lot, other than stumbling our way through a pandemic, raising two teenagers, and working in careers we love - that consumes pretty much all of our time currently." When they get the opportunity, the family enjoys vacationing to the mountains or beaches as much as they can. One of their favorite places to visit is Kauai, Hawaii.