By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The Starkville Chamber of Commerce begins this month recognizing the service of a chamber member on their web page. The inaugural feature is on Dr. Jerry D. Turner, Starkville Chamber of Commerce’s most tenured member.
Chamber and Membership Vice President Austin Shafer said the organization was looking for a way to recognize and thank its supporters, and thought Turner was the obvious place to start based on his long-standing relationship with the chamber.
“We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Turner for his support of the community for over 30 years,” Shafer said. “Because of committed businesses like this, Starkville has and will continue to prosper.”
Chamber Chair Melissa Dixon said having members like Turner helps keep the organization moving forward.
“I have the utmost appreciation for Dr. Jerry Turner for having the longest membership term of any member at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership,” Dixon said. “Dr. Turner is the ultimate example of community support and faith in economic development.”
According to a release, Jerry D. Turner, D. D. S. is a general dentist who has been in dental practice in Starkville since October 6, 1973. He joined the chamber the same year. His practice focuses on family dentistry providing services in the area of prevention and restorative procedures. The mission of his practice is to provide quality dental care in a prompt and professional manner with the aid of an experienced and caring staff.
Turner said he has seen a lot of growth in Starkville since the early 1970s.
“There is a lot more industry here and a lot of new businesses,” Turner said. “I am very proud of the way the Starkville Chamber of Commerce has brought new business to our area, and it’s still expanding all the time.”
Turner said he is not the only one who has noticed this pattern of growth.
“We have sales people come in who say how much Starkville is growing and getting better versus other areas in our state,” Turner said. “It makes us proud.”
Turner said when he and his wife Diana first opened their dental clinic the area was just a pasture.
“They kept saying the area was going to be the medical center of Starkville, but it was hard to see it then,” Turner said. “Now the way everything has grown up around us — it’s just been great to see all the new businesses in our area.”
Dr. Turner attended elementary and high school at Madden High School in Madden. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor of arts in pre-dental from the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Turner received the doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn. in Sept. 1971. From Sept. 1971-1973, Dr. Turner served two years of service as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service stationed in Memphis, Tenn. The patients treated he at that facility were Coast Guard, Mississippi Seamen and other military personal in the area.
During the first three years of his practice, Dr. Turner rented office space from Dr. Woodrow Rankin. In 1976 he built his current building at 303 Hospital Road, one of the first offices built near the hospital.
Dr. Turner has been an active member of First Baptist Church Starkville. He has served as a deacon, Secretary of the Deacon Body and taught youth Sunday School for 14 years. He was a member and past-president of the Starkville Lions Club.
Professional Associations include the American Dental Association, Mississippi Dental Association and the District I Dental Society. Dr. Turner has been named a life member of the American Dental Association and the Mississippi Dental Association this year. He has been active in study groups for continuing education in the Golden Triangle Area.
For over 20 years, Dr. Turner has enjoyed woodcarving as a hobby. He has carved nativity sets, Santa Clauses and assorted figures and animals. Many friends and family members have received pieces as gifts.
Dr. Turner is married to Diana Leatherwood Turner. They have one son, Dr. Lee. L. Turner, who is a general surgeon in Hattiesburg. They have two grandchildren, Madeleine and Cole.
For more information, visit http://www.starkville.org .