Tupelo- Josephine Mitchell Turner, 99, joined her husband, Haley Turner, and daughter, Kathleen Falgout, in Heaven on Friday, November 17, 2023.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, December 19, 2023, at the Jefferson Street Chapel of Pegues, 535 W. Jefferson Street, Tupelo, with Rev. Jim Yates officiating. Graveside services will follow in Lee Memorial Park. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time Tuesday.
Josephine was born in Greenwood on May 1, 1924, to Malcolm A. and Ethelina Wainwright Mitchell. She was a 1941 graduate of Greenwood High School, where she was a member of the marching band for six years.
On November 19, 1944, she married Haley Turner after he returned home from the Pacific Theater on Army Duty. She enjoyed being a wife, and mother to her two daughters, Kathleen and Mary Helen. Haley’s work for the telephone company took them to Gulfport, Jackson, and finally in 1962 to Tupelo. While in Jackson, Josephine took up two hobbies that she enjoyed for many years, golf and bridge. Golf—to be able to play with her very accomplished husband and bridge to build new friendships as they moved throughout the state. When Jo first moved to Tupelo she volunteered with Welcome Wagon, a job that suited her perfectly.
As her girls grew older, she took jobs as bookkeeper to various small businesses. Her personal checkbook was always balanced to the penny—even up to months before her death! She believed in living within your means!
She was an active member of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Jackson and Calvary Baptist Church in Tupelo. She taught Sunday School, GA’s, and was a member of the choir including the Senior Choir at Calvary. Living her faith was very important to her.
When her husband’s health began to fail, she reduced her outside activities and dedicated five years to his care at home. After his passing, she began phase two of her life, volunteering at the Tupelo hospital and becoming a blood donor. She was recruited to become a fraternity housemother at Mississippi State University from 1981 until 2008. She served the SAE’s 1981 until 1986, the KD’s Sorority from 1989 until 1996, and Lamda Chi’s from 2005 until 2008, and for one year at University of Alabama for Pi Phi. She enjoyed her time at State as part of the Housemother’s Group. They often enjoyed luncheons, played Bridge, and traveled extensively during their summer breaks.
She returned to Tupelo in her late 80’s to enjoy her church, her duplicate bridge club, and a new area of volunteering—the Tupelo Police Department. In 2005 she took her training to be part of the senior volunteer force and forged many new relationships with the police officers she met. They became her second family in her last years. They helped her survive COVID-19, when her family could not travel to be with her.
Josephine’s zest for life was contagious. When she finally moved into Senior Living in January of 2019, she became a mentor to many of her fellow seniors. Her positive attitude set her apart, as she always looked for the positive side of things.
She is survived by her daughter, Mary Helen Harris (JR) of Marietta, Georgia; two grandsons, Mark Harris (Alexis) of Austin, Texas, and Lee Harris (Stephanie) of Denver, Colorado; two great-grandsons, Turner Harris and Rhodes Harris of Austin, Texas; and four step great-grandchildren, Avery, Benton, Callan, and Davis Guggenheim of Austin, Texas.
She is lovingly survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren. “Aunt Jo” will be missed.
She was also predeceased by her sisters, Liza Hamilton, Mary Dillon, and Lina Farrish.
Special thanks to the nurses and aids at the hospice unit at North Mississippi Medical Center for their exceptional care.
Memorials may be made to your favorite charity.
Expressions of sympathy and fond memories may be made at PeguesFuneralHome.com.