lucky you - your browser doesnt play annoying midis

03/12/13 - NNHS Newsletter - Ray Turner

Martin Raymond Turner
(22 Apr 1930 - 09 Mar 2013)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
 There is more sad news this Tuesday.  Ray Turner, father of    Betsy Turner Bateman ('70) of VA, Bobbie Turner Howard ('72), Bonnie Turner Simmons ('74), and Beckie Turner, and father-in-law of     Johnnie Bateman ('70) of VA, passed away in Newport News on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the age of 82. 

From the Daily Press - 03/12/13:

               Rev. M. Raymond Turner


    NEWPORT NEWS - Reverend Martin Raymond Turner, a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, departed his earthly life on March 9, 2013.

He was the son of Henry and Cora Turner, born on April 22, 1930 and is the last of the 9 Turner children to join the Heavenly ranks.

Raymond is survived by his wife, Betty Lou Umphlett Turner, four daughters, Betsy Bateman (John), Bobbie Howard, Bonnie Simmons (Steve) and Beckie Turner, five grandchildren, Heather Clarke (Julian), Casey Wignall (Eric), Courtney Ancel (Ersin), Tim Simmons (Andrea), Sarah Massey (Tom) and five great grandchildren, Knowles, Abby, Annslea, Colton and Leia.

As a child born during the Great Depression, Ray started working at a young age. He worked for Wilder Theaters and was a radio announcer for WSAP Radio before securing a job at the former WTAR radio and television station. While there, he worked as a newscaster and did several local programs that included The Dr. Pepper Man and Dialing for Dollars before being promoted to radio station manager of WTAR. During these years, Ray was actively involved in the Civil Defense, the Kiwanis, the American Cancer Society and his church.

Ray Turner
  Ray was well known in the Tidewater area for his deep and smooth radio voice and often spoke at many community organizations. As Ray became more involved in his church, he felt the need to change his career path and go into the ministry. Ray stepped out on faith with the support of his loving wife, Betty Lou, and began a college career while working a number of jobs to support the family.

Even though he was attending college and working several jobs, Ray always found time for his wife and 4 young daughters to plan summer vacations, take picnic lunches or ride out to watch the sun rise. In addition, his love for writing and literature from Shakespeare to Poe contributed to his flair for the dramatics. His children loved listening to his home performances and will always carry those memories with them.

Ray would begin his ministry in 1959 at Pinners Point Methodist Church in Portsmouth and would go on to serve churches in the Richmond area, South Hill and Newport News. His innovative sermons and hard work at all of the churches he served demonstrated his enthusiasm for the Lord.

The family wants to extend their gratitude to the kind and wonderful staff at the Hidenwood Retirement Home and to the Riverside Hospice Team for their care, guidance and support.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 AM at Peninsula Funeral Home on Wednesday March 13, 2013 with the service to begin immediately after visitation at 11 AM, officiated by Dr. Charles K. Root. Burial will follow at the Peninsula Memorial Park. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on March 12, 2013.

View Guest Book


March 12, 2013
Rev. Turner was such a wonderful person and I will always remember his love for his dear wife. It was only a few years ago he shared from his wallet a well worn picture of his young bride.

Blessing to Bonnie, Tim, and the rest of the family during this difficult time.

~ Unsigned
Contact Me

March 12, 2013 

Recall only brief acquaintance with Ray as I worked years after at WTAR then later at WAVY. May God comfort his family to know he is in the presence of The Lord. Blessings,
Servant in Christ,

~ Reverend Dr. Jim Lehman, Gainesville, Florida
Contact Me

March 12, 2013 
I am so sorry for the loss of someone so dear .I miss being there to comfort all of the family. My prays are with all. Sorry I am unable to be there .

March 12, 2013   

Ray was such a joy to be around and hearing his stories of his love for his wife. He truly watched over her every move. He will be missed. And the office staff at Styron Square Apartments enjoyed Ray and Betty dearly. Sending love and prayers to the family.

~ Linda Pulley, Newport News, Virginia

March 12, 2013    

Betsy, so sorry for the loss of your father. Thinking and praying for you and your family at this difficult time.

~ Kathy Cooper, Newport News, Virginia

March 12, 2013   

~ Joe and Ann Simmons, Linda and Amanda Simmons, Paul McMillian

March 12, 2013 

To the whole family. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I am so sad that I won't be able to make it to the visitation or service as I have to work. I love your dad he was such a great man of God. I will keep everyone in my thoughts and prayers.

~ Christie Hopkins, Poquoson, Virginia

March 12, 2013   

Our prayers and sympathy to Betty Lou and the girls. Raymond was a very important part of our life for many years. Sorry we can't see you tomorrow but Martin is having surgery in Richmond. Our love to you.

~ Martin and Shirley Wetherbee, South Hill,, Virginia

March 13, 2013 

Praying for Rev. Turner's family and friends today and every day. He and his wife Betty Lou were very special to me and have left footprints in my heart. They both helped my family during a very difficult time in my life, losing my mother (of 8) to cancer in 1997, along with Mother's mom-in-law and husband's grandmother. They would call every few days and just pray with me to ease the pain. Everyone needs a pastor like Rev. Turner in their lives... Will always remember you... R.I.P., we will meet again. McIntire family

March 13, 2013 

Absolutely one of my most treasured guests at Chick-fil-A. I will always remember him taking my hands into his and praying with me when I decided to start working from home. Mr. Turner and Betty Lou have touched so many lives and are loved so much. Thankful for the memories that will live forever.

March 13, 2013   

A wonderful man is gone but not forgotten.
He is with his Lord. He will always be loved in our family's hearts.

~ Julie and Latane Farmer, Amy Farmer, Kelly and Brandon McMackin

March 13, 2013   

I had the opportunity to meet Rev. Turner when he came to Mathews County and held a revival at St. Paul UMC in l973; met his lovely wife Betty a short time later. His teachings and love for his Saviour had a dynamic impact on my journey with the Lord. He will be greatly missed by so many who loved him. Condolences to all the family

~ Nancy Hurst, Mathews, Virginia

March 14, 2013 

What a wonderful man. Mom and Dad (Wanda and Bill) also thought so much of Ray that they named me after Ray. To Betty Lou and the girls, may God comfort you during this time. Mom also expresses condolences.

~ Raymond Rowley, Nelson County, Virginia

March 14, 2013 


March 14, 2013 


March 14, 2013   


March 14, 2013   


March 14, 2013   



March 14, 2013 



March 14, 2013   


March 14, 2013   


March 14, 2013   

   Our deepest condolences are extended to the Turner family and their friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Shall We Gather at the River

Words and Music by Rev. Robert Lowry (1826-1899)

 Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?


Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will walk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day.


Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown.


Soon we'll reach the shining river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease,
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace.


"Shall We Gather at the River" midi and lyrics courtesy of - 07/15/07
at the suggestion of Fred Field ('45) of CA - 07/14/07
Thanks, Fred!

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 01/27/05

Musical Divider Line clip art courtesy of - um, I am unable to locate that information at this time.

Civil Defense Logo courtesy of - 03/12/13

 Kiwanis Club Logo courtesy of - 07/17/08

American Cancer Society Logo courtesy of - 03/12/13

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2013

Return to NNHS Class of 1965