Debra Rene Turner, 45, teacher and computer programmer

March 12, 2004|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Debra Rene Turner, a kindergarten teacher and former Randallstown resident, died of sickle cell anemia March 5 at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. She was 45.

She was born Debra Rene Williams in Baltimore, and reared in Cherry Hill and Randallstown. She was a 1976 graduate of Milford Mill High School and earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications from Morgan State University in 1980.

Mrs. Turner took additional courses in computer technology and worked as a computer programmer for Maxima Corp. in Ohio and New England.

She was married in 1986 to the Rev. Robert McHugh Turner. Since 2002, the couple lived in Bridgeport, where he is pastor of the Bridgeport Bible Fellowship Church.

At her death, Mrs. Williams was on the faculty of the Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, Conn., where she taught kindergarten.

"As a dedicated and loving mother and wife, she spent her life working in God's vineyard in whatever capacity where she felt there was a need. She was all about the ministry and touched many lives," said her mother, Ella White Campbell, a Randallstown community activist.

"One of her biggest roles was supporting her husband's ministry. Even though there were many challenges, I never heard her complain," said Patty Pitts, a friend who lives in Bridgeport. "She was always smiling and had such a big heart. She was always ready to help others, and I never saw her down."

Mrs. Turner enjoyed listening to music and reading. She was a longtime member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Services will be held at 9:30 a.m. today at Epworth Chapel, St. Lukes Lane and Liberty Road, Woodlawn, where Mrs. Turner had been a member.

In addition to her husband and mother, Mrs. Turner is survived by two sons, Robert Turner and Joshua Turner, both of Bridgeport; a daughter, Dominique Turner of Bridgeport; her father, Delbert Williams of Baltimore; her stepfather, Charles Campbell of Randallstown; and her paternal grandmother, Lylia Crews of Baltimore. Her brother, Delbert Andre Williams, died in 1970.

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