Gwyndolyn Collins Turner

Published 9:30 am Monday, July 10, 2017

Gwyndolyn Collins Turner died peacefully at home on June 24, 2017, at the age of 99.

Born in Gallion on May 20, 1918, she was the middle child of 10 children of Beulah Brown and George Davis Collins. Gwyn graduated from Demopolis High School in 1936 and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 1940.

A longtime citizen of Demopolis, Gwyn was a woman of deep faith and unfailing grace. She was deeply devoted to her family, to her community and to her to friends, both young and old. Gwyn was an active member of the Reading Club of Demopolis for 73 years, the Marengo County Historical Society, and Trinity Episcopal Church.

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With keen intellect and extraordinary vision, Gwyn championed historic preservation in Alabama and throughout the South. She spearheaded many efforts, including the preservation of Bluff Hall, the acquisition of Lyon Hall and the move of the Demopolis Public Library to Ulmer Furniture Store in downtown Demopolis. In 2004, Gwyn was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was named Alabama’s Grande Dame of Historic Preservation.

Gwyn was predeceased by her husband, David Sinclair Turner and her daughter, Penrith Turner Coleman.

She is survived by her sons, Joseph Collins Penrith Turner (Martha) and David Penrith Turner (Barbara); son-in-law, John Wilbanks Coleman; grandchildren, Hannah Turner Lavey (John), Sarah Chandler Turner Hallmark (Luke), John Hightower Turner (Ashley), Elizabeth Coleman Gillis (Justin), Laura Wilbanks Coleman and Emily Collins Turner; great-grandchildren, Frances St. John Nix Lavey, Andrew Parker Hallmark, Mary Sparks Lavey, Catherine Sinclair Turner, John Hightower Turner Jr., Anne McLeod Turner, and Grey McCalla Gillis; and her sisters, Mary Elizabeth Collins and Grace Collins Brown.

A celebration of her life was held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Monday, June 26, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Marengo County Historical Society, P.O. Box 159, Demopolis, AL 36732.

Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.