September 12, 1919 - October 12, 2012
September 12, 1919 - October 12, 2012
Charles "Chuck" Turner, born on September 12, 1919 in Huntsville, Alabama, was the youngest son of Andrew and Annie Turner. The family farmed, and Charles spoke of working in the fields beginning at the age of 7 - he would lead a mule while it pulled the plow. The family was very large, there were 16 children, and Charles shared a bed with two brothers. They had very little money, and at Christmas the kids would be excited to get even an apple or an orange.
When he was growing up, black children did not always have the opportunity to go to school, and Charles only attended school until the eighth grade. A lack of education did not hurt him however; his strong "mother whit" (or common sense) contributed to a very successful life. As an adult, he attended trade school, and made a career as an in¬demand automobile painter. He painted expensive race and show cars, and even had a shop of his own.
Charles had always been told by his sisters and mother - who all spoiled him immensely - that he was little and would never grow. At 16, he wanted to join the Army; yet he was denied, and told to come back when he had "grown a bit". It seems that he was even too slight for the armed services. But Charles waited a while, got a little bigger and stronger, and enlisted in 1941. He served in the European theater during WWtl and earned medals for good conduct, WWII Victory, and a Bronze Star.
On home for leave one summer, Chuck began a friendship with Bernice Green (who, he confessed to his sister Daisy, was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen). Although Bernice was only 14, he asked her to marry him. They married in secret, and when found out, were made to separate. Years later, he told Bernice that he wanted to make her Mrs. Charles Turner again, and they were married on April 10, 1960. They moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and were devoted to each other until her death 49 years later! Charles and Bernice welcomed little Heidi Velekia into their lives in 1965. An only child, Heidi became a true Daddy's Girl, and was loved and spoiled to no end. Strong in his conviction that a man should provide for, protect, and take care of his family, Charles often worked two or more jobs. He ensured that his wife and daughter wanted for nothing, often giving them more than they could even use!
In 1984, Charles, was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He and Bernice participated in several ministries - enjoying the fellowship that comes with service. They loved to entertain by hosting dinners and bar-b-ques. Very passionate about baseball, Chuck was a major Cleveland Indians fan - attending games when he could, and catching the rest on television or radio. Charles loved to talk, and was quite entertaining when offering advice -¬"Listen, always make sure you save the third dollar!" -- or telling a story. He loved to tell about the cat that attacked him when he was a child, and the time he got a fish bone stuck in his throat. He and his brothers, brothers-in-law, and nephews stayed up all night on many occasions "rapping" (as they called it) with each other. No one could tell a story quite like he could!
Charles was the epitome of strong manhood - how to act, treat others, and serve his family and community. His love and memory will be held close in the hearts of his daughter and her husband, Heidi and Carlos Stone, and his granddaughters Carmen Alyssa and Kyla Nicole, all of Westerville, Ohio. He is survived by his youngest sister Mollie Mae Buffaloe of Newburgh, New York, and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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