Dr. John B. Turner
Dr. John B. Turner, age 97 of Springfield, died Monday, April 7, 2014 at NHC Healthcare in Springfield.
He was born October 22, 1916 in Iuka, MS to the late John Henry and Ida Goodrich Turner. They later moved to Jonesboro, AR, where he attended first through sixth grades, and in 1927, he was baptized in Jonesboro. They then moved to Alamo, TN, where he graduated high school. Dr. Turner then attended Union University in Jackson. WWII had begun, and he decided to become a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corp. Based out of Northern Africa, he flew many missions as a B-26 Marauder bomber pilot. He was shot down over Italy, where he was captured, escaped, but later recaptured. He became a POW from June of 1943 until May of 1945, of which he spent 18 months in the South Compound of Stalag Luft III near Sagan and Stalag VIIA near Moosberg, Germany. After his release from the POW camp, he met Dwight D. Eisenhower in LaHar, France. Dr. Turner was a Captain in the Air Corp, and he received the Air Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Medal with 3 Bronze Stars for Libya-Egypt, Tunisia, and Sicily. His mother was a three star mother during the war, which indicated she had three sons serving. Dr. Turner was joined in service by his brother, Guy, who died as a Chaplain during the war, and his brother Bill.
Following his war service, Dr. Turner finished his pre-med requirements at Peabody and Vanderbilt. He went to Memphis to medical school, and then served his residency and intern program at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. He first visited Springfield with the Red Cross Bloodmobile. People encouraged him to move to Springfield and open a private practice. He started his practice in September of 1956 and retired in 1993. He served on staff at Jesse Holman Jones Hospital, and was the Medical Director at NHC in Springfield for thirty years. He was a member of the Honorary Medical Staff at North Crest Medical Center.
Dr. Turner was a member of Springfield Baptist Church, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, the Masonic Western Star Lodge 9 since 1948, had the 32nd Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Shriner, Springfield Rotary Club since 1961, the American Legion in Centerville, Springfield, and Greenbrier, the VFW, the American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians where he was Board Certified.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Turner was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years: Lillian Burton Turner, and by his siblings: Irene, Guy, Louise, Maxine, Bill, and Paul. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law: John Lee and Debbie Turner of Lenexa, KS, Dr. James Burton and Sandy Turner of Durban, South Africa, William David Turner of Mt. Juliet; daughter and son-in-law: Suzanne and Bill Vermillion of Asheville, NC; sister: Dorise Haynes of Brentwood; grandchildren: Diana Turner, Sam Turner, and Jon (Leslie) Vermillion; step great-grandchildren: Cameron and Collin Kindley.
Funeral services will be conducted Monday, April 14th at 11 a.m., in the Oakhurst Chapel of the Robertson County Funeral Home, with Dr. Jerry Oakley officiating. Interment will follow in Robertson County Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be Sam Turner, Jon Vermillion, David Turner, John Turner, Dr. James Turner, and Bill Vermillion. Masonic services will be conducted on Sunday at 5 p.m., at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Gorham McBane Public Library or to the American Red Cross. All donations can be sent c/o Robertson County Funeral Home, 2201 Memorial Blvd., Springfield, TN 37172. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., and on Monday from 9 a.m. until service time at the Robertson County Funeral Home, (615) 384-0036.
Robertson County Funeral Home
2201 Memorial Blvd. Springfield, TN 37172
Published in The Tennessean on Apr. 12, 2014