Henry Ray Turner

Born: Mon., Jan. 30, 1933
Died: Thu., Jun. 6, 2019


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., Jun. 14, 2019
Location: Adams-Buggs Funeral Service ~ Etowah Chapel

Celebration of Life

1:00 PM Sat., Jun. 15, 2019
Location: Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church Gadsden

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Henry Ray Turner, affectionately known as Tommie Jessie, was born on January 30, 1933, in Lafayette, Alabama to the union of Jessie Lee and Mentory Gipson Turner. He was the second of seven children born to this union. One adopted grandson; Edward, was raised along with them.

He attended East Gadsden Elementary School, when his parents relocated to Gadsden, AL. Later Tommie Jessie transferred to Carver High School, where he was able to experience the joy of playing football. While at Carver he met and later married the love of his life, Bertha Densmore. He was an early riser who believed in being on time. In fact, he would rather arrive two hours early than be late. He united with Antioch Baptist Church and later joined Mt Pilgrim Baptist Church with his wife, where his love for Christ grew and he was ordained as a deacon. He was known for his spiritual gift of praying, attending weekly Bible study, helping and caring for people, including visiting the sick and shut in. He attended all the funerals he could, but did not like riding in the funeral cars. Therefore, his niece, Jackie Watson, who truly loved “Uncle Tommie” would drive him. Whenever he was in a gathering, he would keep everyone entertained with his copious amount of funny stories and could recall names and places of things that happened long ago.

Tommie Jessie was employed by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 42 years before retiring in 1994. He was a member of The Prince Hall Grand Lodge where he proudly was a 33 ° Mason; he was a supportive member of Gethsemane Lodge #27 and loved attending his Masonic Grand Lodge Sessions with his brother/nephew; Edward Turner.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Louise Woody; and brother, John Turner.

On Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 6:00 a.m., he departed this life, at the Gadsden Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He leaves to cherish many happy memories his wife of 68 years, Bertha Densmore Turner; adopted daughter, Pearl Glover, Douglasville, GA; two grandchildren, Rouchelle (Norman) McGill, Bronx, NY, Ahmed Rashad (Marsha) Glover, Bronx, NY; seven great grandchildren;  sisters, Sarah Arlena (Dewrell) Smith, NYC, Dorothy Ann Turner Watson, Gadsden, AL, who was devoted and extremely helpful throughout his illness, Cornelia Lee Griffith, Tampa, FL, Betty Jean Littlefield, NYC; brother/nephew, Edward (Diane) Turner, Gadsden, AL,; sister-in-law, Earlene Turner, Brooklyn, NY; god daughter, who affectionately greeted him with “What’s up Turkey”, Linda Gail Beard, Gadsden, AL; a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many dear friends who were rocks during our time of need.


Celebration of life services will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church, Rev. Roderick Thomas, Pastor and Eulogist. Internment will follow at Lincoln Hill Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m Friday, June 14, 2019, at Adams Buggs Funeral Service - Etowah Chapel.

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