2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Taylor, Holland

House Resolution 105

(As Adopted by House)


     WHEREAS, Mr. Leo Turner has set the benchmark of excellence in volunteerism and community involvement for his contributions as a tirelessly devoted humanitarian to the Friends of Mississippi; and

     WHEREAS, born September 23, 1930, the eldest son of Mr. Bennie Turner and the late Mrs. Freddie Gamblin of Waynesboro, Mississippi, Mr. Turner, began his education at the Estes School, and excelling academically throughout his years of schooling, graduated from Waynesboro Vocational High School in 1951; and

     WHEREAS, predicted to be a preacher, Mr. Turner, who had plans of becoming a funeral director and insurance salesman, entered the Kentucky School of Embalming in Louisville, Kentucky, after graduation; and

     WHEREAS, in October of that year, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served in the Korean Conflict, completing an 18-month tour of duty, before returning to Kentucky to resume his studies, ultimately graduating as Sergeant of Arms of his 1954 class; and

     WHEREAS, an avid lover of education, Mr. Turner developed an interest in medicine, and even entertained the thought of enrolling in school to pursue the study of medicine; and

     WHEREAS, in 1955, Mr. Turner married his high school sweetheart, Leola "Baby" McGill, and to their wedded union were blessed with five children, four daughters, Mae Olia, Anita, Denise and Brandice; one son, "Junior"; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and

     WHEREAS, after the death of his father in 1956, Mr. Turner and his brother, the late Alfred Turner, took over operations of the family funeral home; and

     WHEREAS, since seizing the helm of the family business, Mr. Turner, at one point in his career, oversaw the operation of five funeral homes; and

     WHEREAS, seeking a new vehicle to bring about a much needed change in the Waynesboro community, Mr. Turner, along with a group of neighbors, began the task of raising funds to operate a Head Start Program in Wayne County; and

     WHEREAS, since its origination, Friends of Children of Mississippi sponsored numerous programs in addition to Head Start in order to bring services and employment to the community, such as the Summer Feeding Program, Summer Youth Program and CETA Projects among others; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Turner was heavily involved with the Wayne County Voters' League in efforts to bring about political education and increased political involvement throughout the county; and

     WHEREAS, elected to replace the late Reverend W.G. Goff as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Friends of Children of Mississippi in 1968, Mr. Turner has demonstrated courage and vision in a fight for a cause he has made his own for the past 36 years; and

     WHEREAS, through his tireless devotion and visionary prowess in the 1970s, Mr. Turner managed more than $13 million that had been provided in services and employment in Wayne, Greene, Clarke and Humphreys Counties; and

     WHEREAS, an active 59-year member of St. Luke Baptist Church, where he is a member of the deacon board, Mr. Turner is also a 53-year member of the Waynesboro Masonic Lodge, where he has grown from Master Mason to a 32 Degree Mason, in addition to having served as Senior Warden; and

     WHEREAS, participating in several professional associations, such as the Mississippi Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association and the NAACP, Mr. Turner has also made his mark in the political arena, having served on the Board of Alderman for Waynesboro for 13 years, and serving as Mayor Pro Tempore during two of his terms in office; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend excellence in such outstanding individuals as Mr. Turner, whose mark on society has been truly monumental and inspiring:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Mr. Leo Turner for his meritorious contributions and the many years of dedicated services provided to the Friends of Children of Mississippi and extend our heartiest wishes for many more years of good health, peace, happiness and success in all his future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mr. Leo Turner and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.