Open main menu

Morris Wayne Turner (October 8, 1931 – June 1, 2008), was an American businessman and politician who served as the mayor of Lubbock, Texas from 1972 to 1974. He had previously served on the Lubbock city council.[1]

Morris W. Turner
Morris "Moe" Turner of Lubbock, TX.jpg
24th Mayor of Lubbock, Texas
In office
1972–1974
Preceded byJim Granberry
Succeeded byRoy Bass
Lubbock City Council member
In office
1968–1972
Personal details
Born(1931-10-08)October 8, 1931
Coalgate, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedJune 1, 2008(2008-06-01) (aged 76)
Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
MaryLou Seward (m. 1950)
Children3
Alma materTexas Tech University
OccupationBusinessman

Turner was one of four children born to Clay Turner (1906–1980) and Addie L. Turner (1906–2000).[2] Though Turner was born near Coalgate, the seat of Coal County in southern Oklahoma, the family thereafter moved to Lubbock. Turner graduated in 1950 from Lubbock High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. In the fall of 1950, he entered Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) on a football scholarship, having been the quarterback and punter until sidelined by a knee injury. He joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps and was a national officer of the Arnold Air Society. At Texas Tech, he lettered in baseball as a catcher for the Red Raiders. Upon graduation from Texas Tech with a degree in business administration, Turner was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and served at Ellington Field in Houston. He was assigned to the combat-ready 40th Bomber Group, 40th Bomber Squadron, Strategic Air Command under general Curtis LeMay. During the Cold War, Turner was a bombardier/navigator aboard a nuclear-armed B-47 jet bomber.[3]

On December 23, 1950, in a ceremony at the Southside Church of Christ, Turner married the former MaryLou Seward, his former Lubbock High School classmate. They had three children. For more than 30 years, Turner was an active member of Sunset Church of Christ, which sponsors the Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock.[3]

In 1961, Turner formed the M. W. Turner Construction Company, with specialty in commercial construction and development. His company did some of the later renovations on the Texas Tech campus.[4] In 1968, at the age of thirty-six, he was elected to the first of two two-year terms to the Lubbock City Council. During his first term, the Lubbock Tornado destroyed much of the downtown. He was hence part of the council, along with Mayor Jim Granberry, charged with the rebuilding of Lubbock after the widespread destruction caused by the storm. In 1972, he was elected mayor when Granberry, a dentist, chose not to seek a second term. Turner is considered the father of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. He worked to insure the success of the since-named Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, the Canyon Lakes project, and the George and Helen Mahon Public Library, named for former U.S. Representative George Mahon of Lubbock. He also worked to widen Indiana Avenue and improve sanitation services. He was president of the South Plains Association of Governments and was a member of the Lubbock Board of City Development. Turner was a golfer, a singer, and a longtime advocate of his alma mater Texas Tech.[3]

Turner died in Lubbock on June 1, 2008, from complications of diabetes.[3]

ReferencesEdit