Monday, February 11, 2019

Matthew "Bud" Turner

Matthew G. “Bud” Turner passed away on February 11, 2019 at Baptist Memorial Golden Triangle Hospital in Columbus. He was 87 years old. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P. M. on Wednesday, February 13th, at First Baptist Church, with Rev. Jody Nichols officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Porter Funeral Home, and on Wednesday at First Baptist Church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Double Springs Cemetery near Maben, MS. Porter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

He was born on January 16, 1932 to Haywood Turner and Kathryn Outz Turner, in Maben, MS and attended school there through high school. He loved sports, and participating in high school sports gave him the opportunity to go to college after he received a football scholarship to East Mississippi Junior College in Scooba, where he played for the legendary coach, Bob “Bull” Sullivan. Coach Sullivan gave Bud the nickname “Bulldog” for his tenacity as an undersized lineman. He attended Mississippi State University, where he obtained his B.S. degree in education. He spent 2 years in the Army, stationed in Korea, and afterward returned to Mississippi State where he got his Master’s degree.

In 1957, he began a career in coaching, teaching, and school administration that would span the next 6 decades. This career would include stops at Maben, Kilmichael, Louisville High School, and Winston Academy, where he would serve as headmaster and coach, as well as at Bayou Academy in Cleveland, MS.

He compiled a stellar coaching record in football, basketball and track, winning over 76% of all his games, and winning 29 conference, district, and North State championships. He served as both president and vice-president for the Mississippi Association of Coaches. During his coaching career, he was voted coach of the year 9 times, coached numerous state all-star games, and was inducted into the East Mississippi Community College Hall of Fame. In 1999 he received one of the highest honors in Mississippi coaching, being inducted into the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame. Those that knew him and played for him, however, knew very well that the wins, losses and honors that he attained were of secondary importance to him. The real reason he loved coaching, and chose to coach was because of the impact he could have on the lives of his players. One of his former players recalled Coach Turner telling them that they were to always put God first, family second, school and academics third, and sports fourth.

In 1978, he left school administration to go into private business with his long-time friend, Garry Hughes at Hughes Management Corporation. He made many life-long friends with his co-workers there.

After retiring, he continued to coach as a volunteer at the high school and junior high levels, as well as coaching elementary and church league basketball. He was able to continue to impact young people’s lives through coaching at these levels as well.

Medical problems limited his physical abilities in the last few years of his life, and he wasn’t able to attend church and sporting events as much as he would have liked. He still enjoyed watching and keeping up with sports, attending as many games as he could, and watching his grandchildren participate in athletics.

He and his family attended the First Baptist Church in Louisville for over 60 years, where he served as a deacon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Haywood Turner and Kathryn Turner, sister Mince Turner Kent, and brother Bill Turner.

He is survived by his loving wife Barbara Ann Booth Turner, children, Jerry Turner (Janet), Kathy Turner Nichols (Jody), Lenny Turner (Karen), Marty Turner (Amy), and Nick Turner (Stacy); brothers, Jim Turner and Martin Fahr, as well as 9 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Throughout his life, he was known by many names and nicknames, but the one he was called most often, even many years after he coached his last game, was “Coach Turner”.

Memorials may be made to French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS, 39745.