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(901) 872-8800
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Alvin Turner

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Alvin Turner Obituary
Alvin Turner

Memphis, TN

Activist, humanitarian, philanthropist, entrepreneur and storyteller, Alvin Turner was born August 5, 1934 in Somerville, Tennessee to Ernest Turner and Alice Minor. He was preceded in death by his sisters and brothers; Ida Joe "Sis T" Wilkins, Anna Jane Turner, Lula Mae Moley, Tommy Frank Turner, Gaston "Shank" Turner, Thelma "Jean" Williamson, Otis Douglas, and Rena Parks; and by his niece, Corrine Hampton.

Mr. Turner professed a hope in Christ at Russell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Somerville. After moving to Memphis in 1948, he united with Burning Bush Baptist Church. Mr. Turner later became a long-time member of True Church House of Prayer to All Nations.

Having resided in Memphis for over 60 years, Mr. Turner made significant contributions to the City. Most notably, he helped organized 1300 sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968. Mr. Turner continued to serve as a spokesperson for labor movements in Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Illinois, California, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Washington D.C. Mr. Turner addressed the Teamsters Convention and was a guest lecturer at Rhodes, Lane, Rust, Lemoyne-Owen Colleges, University of Memphis, Savannah State University, Lausanne Preparatory School and Texas Christian University. He received recognition from the National Action Network, Operation PUSH, and the Teamsters Union. He served as Grand Marshal of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday parades in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Mr. Turner garnered much recognition for his work. He received the Key to the City of Jackson, Tennessee, and the Henry Logan Starks Distinguished Service Award from Memphis Theological Seminary. He received an Emmy Award in 2012 for his role in the documentary, I Am A Man, the Movie. In 2011, he and the living sanitation workers met with President Barack Obama at The White House and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who inducted them into the Department of Labor Hall of Honor.

Affectionately known as "Uncle Ba", he was loyally devoted to his family. Mr. Turner departed this life on September 18, 2017 surrounded by family and friends. He leaves to mourn his wife, Helen Lorain Turner, his daughters Rose Martin, Beverly Moore, Sherry Turner and Sylvia Turner (Eric Johnson); a son, Russell Turner, his sister Rose Marie "Pat" Robinson; grandchildren, Elvis Moore, Jr. (Javita Robinson), Keith Moore (Robin), and Dennis Lanier; great-grandchildren, India Lanier, Jaden Lanier and Caleb Moore; and a host of nieces and nephews, including his niece, Linda Bryant who cared for him in his last days.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 8:30-10:00 a.m., followed by Mr. Turner's Celebration of Life at 10:00 a.m. at The True Church House of Prayer to All Nations, 768 Chelsea Ave., Memphis, TN. Interment will be held at Russell Grove Cemetery in Somerville, TN.

Jefferson Mortuary

7788 Church Street, Millington, TN

(901) 872-8800
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Sept. 22, 2017
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