Renowned local businessman Roy Turner Sr. was laid to rest Wednesday in Alta Vista Cemetery.
Those who knew him said Turner, who died Sunday at 87, excelled at his work and was a community leader.
“I would certainly say he was a man of an integrity — an excellent businessman but, at the same time, a very caring individual,” said Bruce Fields, associate pastor of pastoral care at First Baptist Church. “He loved his country and loved this community and loved his church and family — a very balanced life.”
Fields, who officiated Turner’s memorial service, befriended Turner through his involvement in First Baptist Church.
Turner was born in Lula and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a member of the D-Day invasion force and also fought in the Korean War. He received a Purple Heart for his military service.
Turner attended the University of Georgia. After college, he returned to Gainesville and met Caroline Flanders, whom he was married to for 60 years until her death last year. They had five children.
After returning home from the Korean War, Turner started his business career at Turner Insurance Agency, now known as Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance.
Longtime business partner Joe Wood Sr. said he was not only “an outstanding real estate appraiser” but also a wonderful person.
“I was privileged to be associated with Roy Turner for over 50 years,” Wood said. “He was an outstanding individual.”
Wood said Turner was always willing to help people.
“Until Roy’s health declined, he was always visiting and going around talking with people to see if there was anything he could do to help them in any way,” Wood said. “He was always extremely interested in serving his fellow man.”
Wood said he believes Turner was a positive influence on many.
“That individual was just a better person to have been in contact with Roy Turner,” Wood said.
Turner was involved in the Kiwanis Club, First Baptist Church and nonprofit boards.
Fields said the Turners were very warm and inviting to their friends and neighbors.
“I heard that when the children were young, their house — the Turner house — was always the place where everybody wanted to be,” Fields said. “They were happy to have a big crowd over at the house. I know Mrs. Turner enjoyed cooking for all the kids in the neighborhood.
“I think a lot of children who didn’t have that kind of love at home stayed over at the Turners’ house to be part of that family.”