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Andrew Lucius (Andy) Turner

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Andrew Lucius (Andy) Turner
Andrew Lucius (Andy) Turner, 90, passed away on December 16, 2009. He died peacefully, holding the hand of Evelyn, his wife of almost 67 years, and surrounded by the six children he raised and loved.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Evelyn (Stearns) Turner; his daughters, Sydney Marshall Turner of Boston, Mass., Leslie Turner Babcock of Roanoke, Courtney Lee Turner of Arlington, and Ankara, Turkey; sons, Andrew L. Turner III and his wife Laurie of Raleigh, N.C., Marion Roberts Morrissett of Richmond, and Michael Turner Morrissett and his wife Clay of Roanoke; and one sister, Dorothy Turner Smithey of Richmond.

“Grandy,” as he was lovingly known by his 10 grandchildren, also is survived by Logan Elsass of New York City, Chloe Elsass of Charlottesville, Andrew Turner IV and Jackson Turner of Raleigh, N.C., Melissa Morrissett of Bellevue, Wash., Jeffrey Morrissett of Evanston, Ill., William Morrissett of Roanoke, Andrew Morrissett of Charlottesville, Benjamin Babcock of North Beach, Md.. and Hannah Babcock of Roanoke.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Mildred Turner Morrissett; and a brother, Charles Lemon Turner.

Born in Roanoke on January 2, 1919 to the late Andrew Lucius Turner and the late Elsie Lee (Lemon) Turner, Andy was enrolled in the nursery of Roanoke’s First Baptist Church in 1921 and maintained his church membership for almost 90 years. During his childhood, he delighted in going “over to the country” of Fincastle and Newcastle to visit relatives on their farms. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 13. He graduated from Jefferson High School and Virginia Military Institute (Class of 1940), where he was second in his class and a member of the horse-drawn field artillery. At the time of his death, he was planning to attend his 70th reunion in the spring of 2010.

A member of the “Greatest Generation,” Andy was stationed in India for two years during World War II, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and receiving the bronze star. However, before going to war, he met his future wife, Evelyn Stearns of Richmond, on a blind date. He used to brag to his children that he proposed to her on the first date, an event made complicated by the fact that she was someone else’s date! They were married in 1943 before he was sent overseas.

Following an honorable discharge from the service, Andy settled in Roanoke and began to raise his family. He joined Turner Candy Co., a wholesale distributor, and later expanded the company to Turner Distributing Co.

He was extremely active in First Baptist Church and served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and chairman of the Finance Committee. He was both past president and lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International, a Hospice volunteer and a passionate advocate and board chairman of the Salvation Army where he loved ringing the bell at Christmas.

In 1932, Andy made his first trip to the “Rivah” during a fishing trip with his father. He and his family joined the ranks of “summer people” on Fishing Bay more than 50 years ago. In 1994, he became a year-round resident, active in the YMCA, the Power Squadron, the Rivers Club, Fishing Bay Yacht Club, the ROMEOs, Turkey Hunters of the Northern Neck, Lower United Methodist Church, Deltaville Maritime Museum, Great Decisions, Deltaville Community Association and numerous other organizations. He was grand marshal of the Heritage Day Parade in 2008.

Andy loved fishing, hunting, playing cards, dancing and golf. He was fascinated by computers and modern technology, but carried with him a mathematical problem he had been working on since his college days. He wrote “pomes” for every major occasion, loved crossword puzzles, reading and genealogy. He could make a pattern and sew a garment or soothe a crying grandchild within the embrace of his large hands. He taught each grandchild to fish and delighted when they learned to bait their own hook and clean their catch. He was a true patriot whose eyes would fill with tears over the “Star Spangled Banner” or “America the Beautiful.”

He thrived on family and liked nothing more than to be surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He often joked that he had attended more PTA meetings, Christmas pageants, choir and dance recitals, plays, parent’s and grandparent’s days and graduations than anyone he knew.

He liked to say that the secret of his long marriage was that “We agree to disagree.” During his work with Hospice, he commented that his clients never regretted anything they had done, but rather regretted things they’d always meant to do, but hadn’t. As a result, he encouraged his children and grandchildren to follow their passions and live with no regrets. He died, as he lived, a true Virginia gentleman, loved by many, and with no regrets.

A celebration of Andy’s life will be held at the Lower United Methodist Church in Hartfield, on Monday, December 28, at 11 a.m. A memorial service is planned for April 10, 2010 in Roanoke.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Deltaville Rescue Squad, 17684 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, VA 23043; the Lower Middlesex Fire Department, 16881 General Puller Highway; or the Deltaville Maritime Museum, 287 Jackson Creek Road, Deltaville.

posted 12.19.2009

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