Cover photo for Shirley Lawson Turner's Obituary
Shirley Lawson Turner Profile Photo
1934 Shirley 2024

Shirley Lawson Turner

December 13, 1934 — March 18, 2024

Abingdon

Shirley Lawson Turner, 89 years old, of Abingdon Virginia (formerly of Coeburn, Virginia) passed away to be with her Lord and Savior on March 18, 2024.

Shirley was preceded in death by the love of her life Dr. Clifford Mack (Jake) Turner of Abingdon, Va.  They left behind three children, Dr. Clifford Mack Turner, Jr. (Cabot, AR.) and wife Karen Turner. Susan Turner Jordan (Abingdon, VA.) and husband Greg Jordan. William Carl Turner (Memphis, TN.). Five grandchildren, Sara Turner Hedge (Springdale, AR.) and husband Toby Hedge. Maggie Turner Black (Dumas, AR.) and husband Fred Black. Grant Turner (Memphis, TN.) and special person Rachael. Jake Turner (Maryville, TN.) and special person Rebecca. Ryan Jordan (Houston, TX.) and wife Sarah Jordan. In addition, there were five great grandchildren. Ben Elliot Hedge (Springdale, AR.). Anna Hedge (Springdale, AR.). Lola Black (Dumas, Ar.). Bo Black (Dumas, AR.) Isabelle Eaton (Houston, TX.) Only sister Faye Lynn and husband Billy (Yarnell, AR)

Shirley was a graduate of University of Tennessee nursing school of Memphis, TN.  where she obtained her 4-year BSRN degree in Nursing, and worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and taught OB classes.

Shirley met the love of her life (Jake) while he attended Southern College of Optometry School in Memphis, TN. After their schooling, they married on September 30, 1956 and moved to Coeburn, VA., which was Jake's hometown. They immediately began their family. In 1964, Shirley decided to make a career change to have the same schedule as her three children. She began teaching 6th grade at Coeburn Middle School where over the next several years she obtained her master's degree in education and taught many subjects, but mainly science and health. Anyone that ever had Mrs. Turner for class always realized her love of nursing never left her. Her students always had to learn all the bones of the body. She felt it was important to know your own health and a little about your own structure. She was a true leader in her science field and loved her ability to teach. She retired after 35 years of teaching at Coeburn. After retirement, she and Jake moved to Abingdon, VA., near their daughter Susan.

Shirley held many positions and titles in Coeburn (Wise County community). She was a member of Coeburn Baptist Church, where she was very active in teaching Sunday School, Bible School, singing in the Choir, and worked with Girls in Action. She was a member of her Baptist Women's Circle Group and formed a choir and a hand bell choir at her Coeburn middle school. Her academic achievement was being a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society of the Alpha Si chapter.  She held many positions over her years including President and Chairwoman. Her community positions for Wise County included her being the person who was instrumental in getting the Guest River Gorge Trail project implemented. It began in the early 1990's and is still in existence today. She also held the title of Woman of the Year for the Wise County Chamber of Commerce. She held a position of Social Services for Wise County. She was a member of the Eastern Star Society, a strong member of the Wise County Republican Party. She helped with Congressman's Will Wampler, Sr. campaign and spent many hours working the poles and helping with elections. While in her retirement in Abingdon, VA, she also was active in First Baptist Church and a member of the Women's Circle Group. In addition to all the community services and titles she held, she and Jake traveled to many countries to see the world. They completed 63 countries in 53 years. She loved to travel, but most importantly her first priority was her religion and serving her Lord.

She was adamant whether she was local or abroad to spread the message of being saved and serving the Lord. When she was asked one time why she served on so many committees and boards she replied, "If it helps me to be amongst all of God's people then it allows me to know I have made a difference in someone's life". She was true in her faith and always had a message to share.  God's answer today, with the passing of such a "steel magnolia" as Shirley might be... "Well done my good and faithful servant, your work on Earth is done".... Go....Rest in Peace! Shirley will be missed by many!  

Funeral services for Shirley will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2024, at Abingdon Baptist Church, Abingdon Virginia with a visitation prior starting at 1:00 p.m. at the church. Interment will follow at Forest Hills Memory Gardens with officiants Pastor Bill Bryan and Pastor Lee Kidd. 

Pallbearers will be Ryan Jordan, Grant Turner, Jake Turner, Kevin Abel, Mike Overstreet, Brian Wampler. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Johnny Crigger, Bob Hagy, Larry Ball, Scott Perkins, Gary Hearl, Buddy Balou, and Marty Large.

The Family wants to thank all the caregivers over the years for the outstanding care the Turners received.

The Family of Shirley Turner is being cared for by Farris Funeral Service & Crematory, Main Street Location 427 E. Main Street Abingdon, Va, 276-623-2700.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Lawson Turner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, March 21, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Abingdon Baptist Church

361 W. Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210

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Funeral Service

Thursday, March 21, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Abingdon Baptist Church

361 W. Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210

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Interment

Thursday, March 21, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Forest Hills Memory Gardens

19415 Lee Hwy, Abingdon, VA 24210

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