The Conservatives, under the leadership of Brian Mulroney, swept to power with 211 seats.
In his message mourning Turner's death, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday: "John Turner was one of a kind".
In the 1988 election campaign he took a strong stance against a proposed free trade agreement with the United States but lost again to Mulroney, although not as badly.
In 1947, Turner set a national record for the 100-yard dash and was inducted into UBC's Sports Hall of Fame. The following year he qualified for the London Olympics, but a bad knee prevented him from competing.
Turner later enrolled at the University of British Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree, he then pursued a Civil Law degree from Magdalen College, at the University of Oxford.
Turner was first elected to the House of Commons in 1962 and held many high-profile positions in former prime minister Pierre Trudeau's caucus, including stints as justice and finance minister.
1975: Turner abruptly resigns from cabinet and public life, one year after Trudeau's government is re-elected. He shifts his focus to practising law at Toronto's firm McMillan Binch.
Former Canadian prime minister John Turner speaks at the Pearson Conference on Foreign Policy in Toronto, Dec 11, 2007.
"I don't believe our future depends on our yielding those economic levers of sovereignty to become a junior partner in Fortress North America to the United States", Turner said during the campaign. Still, the Liberals fall short of forming government, winning 83 seats.
Turner leaves behind his wife, and four children.
He resigned as Liberal leader in 1990 and was replaced by Jean Chretien, who led the Liberals to victory in 1993.
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