Garnett R. Turner of Fulks Run, Va., passed away Sept. 9, 2019.
The third child of Lloyd and Ruth (Turner) Turner, Garnett Ray Turner was born July 11, 1925, the last baby born in the original log Turner homestead at Fulks Run, Va. He attended two-room Genoa School and was valedictorian of Broadway High School class of 1943.
He enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS Carter Hall in China where his ship repaired small American boats after the end of World War II. His ship also took supplies to Japan in 1946.
Garnett was appointed Fulks Run Postmaster in 1947. He opened Fulks Run Grocery in 1949, which has been operated by the Turner family for 70 years.
On Nov. 5, 1949, he married Lena V. Albrite, who preceded him in death Sept. 13, 2015. In 1960, Garnett and Lena sugar-cured 25 hams in their basement, using the cure recipe from Garnett’s grandfather, Webster Turner. This experiment became Turner Hams, now the Shenandoah Valley’s only ham curing operation. He retired from the Post Office in 1972 to concentrate on the ham business and real estate. He was an active member of Sunset Drive UM Church.
Garnett worked to improve educational and job opportunities for the area. In 1958, he became a charter member of Fulks Run Ruritan Club, which successfully advocated for an elementary school for Fulks Run. An enthusiastic supporter of Weekday Religious Education and Camp Overlook, he served on their boards for several terms. He was also on the board of the Broadway-Timberville Industrial Corporation, which was instrumental in getting H.D. Lee Company to locate in Broadway in 1960. In 1959, he became a director of First National Bank of Broadway (which later became BB&T), retiring in 2004.
Garnett served as a director of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative from 1985-1992, and in 1998 he received the “Unsung Virginian Award” from the Virginia/Maryland/Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Garnett and Lena enjoyed traveling, visiting 50 states and 20 countries. In his 70s and 80s, Garnett and his brothers, “Turner Brother Veterans,” were familiar figures in local parades, riding their bicycles backwards. Garnett rode in his last parade at age 89. An avid croquet player, he won the Virginia state champion title two years and state doubles champion title one year.
Garnett is survived by four daughters and one son: Pat Ritchie (Dan), Winchester; Norma Lee (Dennis), Broadway; Melinda Chitwood, (Roger Mumpower), Roanoke; Audrey McLendon (Vernie), Elkridge, Md.; Ron Turner (Peggie), Fulks Run; eight grandchildren: Chad Ritchie (Anna), Fran Ritchie, Adam Chitwood (Britney), Jenna Chitwood (Cali Chirico), Kelly McLendon (Melissa Simanivanh), Kerry McLendon (Demitri Bezzek), Walker Turner (Jessie Uline), and Celia Turner; three great-grandchildren: Cayden Chitwood and William and Claire Ritchie; and sister, Vada T. May (Ellwood); brother, Miles E. Turner (Marcella); and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Cynthia Marie Turner, and son, Ray Dean Turner, and brothers, Granvil J., Gifford D. and Wayne A. Turner.
The family would like to recognize the Fulks Run Ruritan Club as part of Garnett’s extended family.
Family will receive friends Friday, Sept. 20, 7 to 9 p.m. at Sunset Drive UMC, 127 S. Sunset Drive, Broadway, VA 22815.
Graveside service will be Saturday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m. at Mountain Grove Church Cemetery, 12769 Third Hill Road, Fulks Run, VA 22830.
Memorial service will be Saturday, Sept. 21, at 2:30 p.m. at Sunset Drive UMC.
The casket will be open for viewing from Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 11, until Saturday, Sept. 14, at 5 at Grandle Funeral Home in Broadway.
Memorial gifts may be made to Chimney Rock VFW Post 9660, of which Garnett was a charter member, P.O. Box 847, Broadway, VA 22815.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.grandlefuneralhome.com.