James Thomas Turner, known as "Muddy Waters" to family and friends, transitioned Saturday, March 27, 2021. He was born March 24, 1950 to the late Elizabeth Chambliss-Turner in Southampton County, Virginia. He attended Southampton County Public Schools. James also spent several years working for Smithfield Foods.
Before he became ill, James Thomas spent his time washing and maintaining his collection of cars. He was a self taught mechanic who could spend an entire day under the hood of one of his cars. If he wasn't under the car, he was meticulously waxing his car to a super clean shine.
James Thomas spent his time driving up and down the country highways of Southampton and Sussex counties visiting and performing favors for friends and family. For a couple of dollars, a little bit of food, and a lot of patience (he never drove the speed limit), he would take anyone anywhere they wanted to go. James Thomas was the original Uber and Lyft.
If he wasn't working on one of his cars or riding around, he was at one of his sisters' houses enjoying a hot home-cooked meal or relaxing at home listening to some “good” music. He also enjoyed pranking and telling stories to his nieces and nephews. The listeners of his stories could never decipher whether he was telling the truth, especially when he would display a sly smile in the midst of telling a tale.
James Thomas was preceded in death by his wife Betty (Cookie) Gray-Turner, mother: Elizabeth Turner, his father: Robert Turner Sr., uncle, John Turner; aunts: Margaret Stith, Elizabeth Newby, his brothers: Milton Turner and Robert Turner Jr, and his sister Mary Edwards- All of whom were waiting to be reunited with him.
He leaves to cherish fond memories: brother, Clarence Turner (Conelle); sisters: Linda Sykes (John), and Margaret Blount (Drew), and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. His sly simile and generous spirit will be greatly missed.
James Thomas did not have any children of his own but treated his nieces and nephews as his own. He played an essential strong male role in each of their lives. He taught them to be patient, persistent, to never fear failure, and to always look for the opportunity to do better.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
A Graveside Celebration of Life will be held 11am Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Union Hill UCC, Sedley, VA 16192 Union Hill Road, Sedley, VA. Viewing will take place from 4-6 pm Friday, April 2, 2021 at Shivers Funeral Chapel. Mr. Turner is in the loving and professional care of Shivers Funeral Chapel. Please keep the Turner family in your thoughts and prayers.