Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

February 4, 2013

A salute to Loyce Turner

VALDOSTA — Veterinarian. Public servant. State senator. Banker. Philanthropist. What reads like a table full of people are really some of the facets of one man. Loyce Turner. A man who has brought a lot to the table for South Georgia in the past few decades.

As noted in a story in Sunday’s editions of The Times, Turner recently ended his long-standing appointment as a member of the state Board of Natural Resources. It brings to an end a public career that has impacted and shaped state politics and benefited South Georgia for nearly 40 years.

In 1974, he was elected state senator and represented Lowndes County and surrounding counties for the next 24 years. His appointment to the Natural Resources board followed and he has served as a board member under three Georgia governors.

Turner led the board as chairman in 2005. As chairman, “Loyce guided the Board to adopt resolutions to approve the purchase of key conservation lands in the River Creek, Altamaha River/Clayhole Swamp, Dawson Forest and Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Areas and Dukes Ponds Natural Areas.”

At home, Turner may best be remembered as one of the legislators who forged what is still known as the South Georgia legislative delegation that has the area’s state representatives and senator working together; or as a founder of First State Bank & Trust; or as the man who donated the seed money and arranged the deal in honor of his late wife that turned the bank’s one-time downtown headquarters into the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts; or as the veterinarian who checked on a farmer’s livestock from before dawn to after dusk.

Loyce Turner may no longer be a public servant, but he will without a doubt remain a friend to South Georgia and its people.

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