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Thomas Eli “Tom” Turner, 80, of St. Marys died Wednesday afternoon, July 15, 2020, at Southeast Georgia Health System of Brunswick after a brief illness.

Mr. Turner was born in Waterloo, Iowa, to the late Melvin Turner and Guida Mae Wagner Turner and made St. Marys his home for many years. He served his country faithfully in the United States Air Force where he retired as a master sergeant. While in the service he was stationed in many countries, including Puerto Rico, Scotland, Thailand, Alaska and Turkey before coming to the states.

After his military career, he went to work for TDS where he retired again after 23 years as a superintendent. Mr. Turner was a faithful member of First Baptist Church St. Marys.

Tom could connect with anyone. He always said, “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”  He would meet you with a grin and when asked would say, “If I was any happier, I would be twins.” He loved God, his family and his friends. He left a lasting impression on all that knew him.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Ann Terryn Turner, and a sister, Helen McCullogh.

Mr. Turner is survived by his children, Tim Turner (Suzette) of Orlando, Florida, and Terra Schooler (Chris) of Katy, Texas; two grandchildren, Megan Schooler and Abby Schooler; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, at First Baptist Church St. Marys.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, the memorial service will be streamed live and made available for all to participate virtually at the First Baptist Church St. Marys website and Facebook page. A private committal service will be held at Jacksonville National Cemetery the following day. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Allison Memorial Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.