Mrs. Catherine Belle “Tonkie” Turner, 71, also known as “Mother Catherine” and “Grandma” to many, entered this life on December 6, 1949, and was the daughter of the late Jacolia Little and Smith Turner Sr. Catherine Belle was called to rest on October 22, 2021, at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, N.C.
Catherine Belle was a graduate of Morningside School. She was a member of Scott’s Chapel and later became a member of United House of Prayer For All People. Catherine Belle was united in marriage to Bruce N. Turner Sr. for 35 years. She was employed with Thonet Industries for 30-plus years until her retirement. After her retirement Catherine picked up where her mother left off by going to work for Dr. Maxx Lewis full time for 20-plus years until the pandemic.
Catherine Belle is preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a daughter, Paula L. Turner; grandsons, Darwin “DJ” Turner Jr. and DaQuan Turner; a great grandson, Zayne Turner; her sister/best friend, Beulah A. Wood; her brothers, William, Billy, Smith Jr., Joe Lewis and Jimmy Turner; aunts, Laura Clark, and Ernestine Summers, and other aunts and several uncles; sisters-in-law, Mary Turner, Mattie Ruth Turner, Helen Turner Simpson and Betty Jean Turner; brothers-in-law, John King and Forrest Turner; and her mother- and father-in-law, Josephine and John Turner.
At the time of Catherine Belle’s death she was a faithful, dedicated member of We Care Outreach Ministry under the earthly leadership of her son Pastor Anthony Turner Sr. During this time, Catherine Belle earned the title and responsibilities as the mother of the church. Mother Catherine loved the Lord and was never afraid to tell anyone how good her God is. Mother Catherine always sang one verse of a song, “Victory is Mine, What a Mighty God.” Her favorite was “If I live Right Heaven Belong To Me” and her all-time favorite saying was “When I think of The Goodness of Jesus, and All He Has Done for Me, Mine Soul Cries Out Hallelujah, I Thank God For Saving Me.” Words to live by.
Mother Catherine leaves to cherish her loving memories of her life, her children, Pastor Anthony (Vickie) Turner Sr., Darwin Turner Sr., Gary (Tonya) Turner, Bruce Turner Sr., Mason (Kim) Wood, Sharon Turner, and Tanza Turner, all of Statesville, and Tonda Barber of Winston-Salem; one brother, William (Shelia) Reid of Statesville; four sisters-in-law, Sadie King, Catherine Holmes Turner and Sissy Dalton, all of Statesville, and Carolyn Skinner of Virginia; and three brothers-in-law, Mason Wood, William Turner and Richard Turner, all of Statesville.
Grandma, or Mawmaw as she was known as or Big Baby to grands and great grands to all she assisted in raising at one point and time, had the ability to describe or explain to whomever would ever ask about each one of her grands. She knew them better than she knew her own, and they all held a special place in her heart. Her great grandchildren stole her love from the day they entered this world and you better not mess with either one of them without feeling her wrath, with love.
Aunt Tonk or Auntie or My Love, as her nieces or nephews would lovingly call her, was just like her children and she made sure they all knew how much they meant to her birthdays, holidays or just to let them know she was thinking of them. Her love was genuine for all she came in contact with.
Her special nieces and nephews and greats — please know all was the same and she loved all equally. Some were just different, including Linda Ransford and Cynthia Cook, both of Washington, D.C., Lee and Rome Brown of Rocky Mount, and Laura Clark, Anita Summers, Selicia Simpson, Betty Faye Holmes and Tony “Nardy” Turner, all of Statesville.
She also had a number of great nieces and nephews, cousins other relatives and friends, all of whom she loved.
Rutledge and Bigham Mortuary is serving the family.