October 11, 1922 -
July 31, 2017
Columbus, Georgia- William "Bill" Bradley Turner, 94, of Columbus, Georgia, died July 31, 2017, peacefully at his home.
Funeral services will be held Thursday August 3rd at 11 AM at St. Luke United Methodist Church with the Reverend Robert Beckum officiating. A private internment will be held at Parkhill Cemetery.
Bill was born on October 11, 1922, in Columbus, Georgia, the son of Don Abbott Turner and Elizabeth Bradley Turner. He was one of three grandchildren of William Clark Bradley and Sarah Hall Bradley.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Sue Marie Thompson Turner, his sister Sarah Louise Turner Butler, son Don Abbott Turner, II, grandson David Bradley Brown, son in law William Marcus Moshell, and great-granddaughter Gardiner Mae Turner. Bill and Sue Marie, known to their family as "Pappy" and "Precious", were richly blessed with the love of their 6 children, 22 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. Big, chaotic, delicious meals together, countless school activities, and youth sports were central to their lives.
Bill was educated in Columbus schools and graduated from Columbus High School. He earned his degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1943. The next three years he served in the Navy as a Lt. J.G. in the Pacific Theater during World II. In 1948, Bill married the love of his life Sue Marie Thompson. He worked in the family business, the W.C. Bradley Co., and assumed the position of C.E.O in 1952. He succeeded his father as chairman in 1982.
Bill served faithfully on many corporate and community boards. He passionately supported many local causes and had a steadfast belief in the positive potential of this community. A lifelong member of St. Luke United Methodist Church, he taught teenagers in Sunday School for more than 60 years. His students considered him a dear friend until his death. In 1999, Bill authored The Learning of Love – A Journey Toward Servant Leadership, which traces his personal journey of spiritual development. Wishing to expose others to the principles that gave meaning and purpose to his own life, he established Servant Leadership programs at a number of Georgia colleges and universities. Bill openly shared his Christian faith as the source of his renewal so that he could continue to give to others.
Simply stated Bill Turner was a man who loved his Lord, his family, and his community. In the final chapter of his book he wrote of being in the autumn of his days, and quoted two poets who wrote, "I will not die an unlived life" and "Love does not die; people do. So when all that is left of me is love, give me away."
Bill is survived by his children Donna Turner Brown (David) of Atlanta; William Bradley "Brad" Turner, Jr. (Sally) of Columbus; Marie Turner Moshell of Columbus; John Thompson Turner (Amandah) of Columbus; Sarah "Sallie" Turner Martin (John); and daughter-in-law Cathy Seguin Turner of Columbus; and his sister Elizabeth Turner Corn of Columbus. He is also survived by his grandchildren Cameron Brown Richard (Paul); William McKnight Brown (Alice); John "Jay" Sterling Brown; William "Bill" Bradley Turner, III (Katherine); Jack Gwaltney Turner (Ashley); Barbara "Bobsie" Jeanne Turner; Mildred "Millie" Turner Martin (Matt); William Turner Moshell, II (Michele); Lane Moshell Riley (Chandler); Sue Marie Moshell Waddell (Bradley); John Thompson Turner, Jr.; Joseph Gardiner Turner; Bradley Orion "Rion" Turner; Katharine "Katie" Martin Krieg (Justin); Elizabeth Dykes Martin; Lulie Martin Wallace (Harrison); John Catlett Martin, III (Audrey); William Clark Turner (Lori); Don Abbott "Abb" Turner, III (Kayla); Ashley Turner Jones (Martin); and Brooke Delaney Turner; and 26 Great Grandchildren – Paul, III; Ben; Bradley; Madison; Ward; Nealy; Will; Mac; Lilly; Weezie; Guy; Betsy; Lily; Lucy; Cora; Rosie; Chandler, Jr.; Tilly; Eliza; Bradley, III; George; Witt; Edy; Delaney; Julie; and Annalisa.
The family is grateful to his caregivers for the loving, compassionate care that they gave "Pappy". Special thanks to Anthony Wallace, Betty Carden, Eula Davis, and Helen Herbert and to Ann Williams and Columbus Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made to St. Luke United Methodist Church, 1104 2nd Avenue, Columbus, Georgia, 31901; Pastoral Institute, 2022 15th Avenue, Columbus, Georgia, 31901; Brookstone School, 440 Bradley Park Drive, Columbus, Georgia, 31904; or the Columbus State University Servant Leadership Program, Richards Hall 101, 4225 University Avenue, Columbus, Georgia, 31907.