Obituary – David Penrith Turner

Published 4:38 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

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David Penrith Turner, age 74 of Demopolis died March 23 at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery. He was born Aug. 31, 1949 in Demopolis to Gwyndolyn Collins and David Sinclair Turner. He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church.  

David graduated from Demopolis High School in 1967. He attended Florida State University and upon graduation in 1971 returned to Demopolis where he joined his family in their lumber mill business. When Demopolis Hickory Mill sold in the late 1980’s David started a catfish farm, Blackbelt Aquaculture, in Newbern, Alabama. His friends and family found this humorous because he strongly disliked the taste of fish. Under his direction, it grew into a large farm, and in 1991 had the distinction of being the largest catfish hatchery in the state.  He had always had an avid interest in land and real estate. When the farm sold around the turn of the century, David obtained his realtor’s license, became a broker and ultimately opened his own agency, Southeast Land Associates, where he remained until his retirement at the age of 70.

As a young boy, David got his first boat, and thus began a lifelong love of boats and fishing. As an adult he became interested in deep sea fishing, and once ventured into the charter fishing business with his good friend, Rut Rutledge.

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David met his wife of 44 years in 1974, and they spent a lifetime together fishing, traveling and looking for new adventures, attending Alabama football games, and spending time with friends and family.  He was a devoted and loving husband and a faithful and loyal friend. David was smart and witty and always had a smile and a kind word for everyone he met, a true southern gentleman.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Luker Turner; sisters in law, Martha Hightower Turner and Becky Luker Fowler; brothers in law, John Coleman and Mark McCrory; nieces and nephews, Hannah (John) Lavey, Sarah Chandler (Luke) Hallmark, John (Ashley) Turner, Emily Turner, Elizabeth (Justin) Gillis, Laura Coleman, Jonathan (Shyanna) Knight, Debra Knight, John (Jan) Brister, and Rachel (Heath) Reeves; and great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Joseph Collins Penrith Turner; sister, Penny Turner Coleman; and aunt, Margaret Sinclair Turner.

A celebration of his life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Tuesday, April 2 at 11 am with Father Evan Thayer officiating. A reception will follow at the church’s parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, PO Box 560, Demopolis, Alabama 36732, or Bigbee Humane Society, PO Box 474, Demopolis, AL 36732.

Condolences may be offered at

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home and Crematory.