Tom will be tremendously missed by his family and friends after living faithful lives together. Tom married Mary Jane Prowell of Jonestown, Mississippi in 1953, and they were so grateful to claim Jackson, Mississippi as their hometown where they raised their beloved children Kim, Darrah and Tom. He lived out his career as a surgeon, invested in a worship community at Northminster Baptist Church, and eventually enjoyed retirement. Tom leaves a rich legacy. Kim and Cameron Dean bore Kimbriel, Darrah, and Cameron, who then provided Tom with eight great-grandchildren. Darrah and Royce Garvin who bore Victoria and Graham, who recently gave Tom his ninth great-grandchild. Tom Jr. and Pam have two nieces who were much like children to them, Channing (now deceased) and Gabrielle, who were much like grandchildren to Tom and Mary Jane. Mary Jane passed away in 2001 and Tom remarried Charlotte Watkins in 2004. He predeceases her and the families of her two daughters: Charlotte and Richard McNeel and the families of their daughters Catherine and Kirk, as well as Martha Leigh and Tommy Lehman.
Thomas “Tom” C. Turner, was born August 5, 1924 in Eupora, Mississippi. His father died when he was only 7 months old. He was raised by his mother, two older sisters, and the W.H. Curry family. Tom moved to Columbus at age 10 upon his mother’s remarriage to W.J. Wilbanks. Before graduating from Steven D. Lee High School, Tom served as Captain of the Band, Student Body President and President of the Latin Club. Tom began college during World War II at Mississippi State as an engineering student in the Army Specialized Training Corps. He transferred to Ole Miss in 1942 as a pre-medical student where he served as President of Kappa Alpha fraternity, played in the band, and was a cheerleader for football games while maintaining membership in Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Pi academic honor societies.
Tom was privileged to receive his MD degree in 1948 from Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, followed by a two year rotating internship in the same setting. He then served as a Lieutenant JG Officer in the Naval Medical Corps on active duty at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. He became one of the originators of the freeze-dried bone graft technique of preservation. This helped him narrow his career specialization to orthopedic surgery with Residency Training at Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. Tom then had a Residency Training in hand surgery with Dr. Joe Boyes in Los Angeles, California. Tom lived out an outstanding surgical career with Central Orthopedic Clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, retiring in 1993. Tom was a founding member with Gus Primos of the Capital Investors Club of Jackson, which provided an enjoyable balance to his medical career since 1957.
Since the early 1970’s, Tom was a very active and loyal member of Northminster Baptist Church, which was the cornerstone of his adult spiritual life. He was particularly grateful for his Wednesday Morning Men’s Prayer Group and his Sunday Morning Men’s Class, both of which he depended upon for spiritual sustenance for over four decades. He continually thanked God for these men and for Chuck Poole, Tom’s favorite pastor of all time!
All are welcome to join Tom’s live-streamed Memorial Service on Friday, December 4 at 11am via northminsterbaptist.live/watch-live/. The burial will be in the church’s crematorium alongside Mary Jane. In lieu of memorial flowers, contributions will be gratefully received at Northminster Baptist Church or your charity of choice.