The Artwork of J. Morrell Turner
J. Morrell Turner was a long time member and served as church treasurer for many years. Morrell was also a past co-owner of the Day & Carter Funeral Home which is getting ready to celebrate their 130th anniversary. When I started playing the organ at First Presbyterian in 1969, Morrell was singing in the choir and during the sermon he would "doodle" on his bulletin. Donna Walker, wife of Al Walker, collected these "doodles" and a framed collection hangs in our choir room. Here are not only some of these "doodles", but also artwork that Morrell did on the walls of our nursery sometime in the early 70s.
This artwork is posted on the Facebook page Lawrence County, Then & Now. This posting has received many interesting comments from people who knew Morrell. Here are a couple of interesting stories from the comments:
Linda Sowders Wilson shares this story: "Such a good man but I never knew this side of him. I remember when we had my parents 40th anniversary celebration we were surprised to see Morrell walk in. He shook my dad's hand and said, "I don't do many of these as people might think I'm hoping to get their business but I knew you wouldn't think that." Less than three years later Dad was lying in state at Day and Carter. He would have been there with or without Morrell showing up at the anniversary celebration and they both knew that."
From David Pace, Funeral Director at Day & Carter: "This painting of Morrell's hangs in his old home on 21st street today, which is currently my home. It was stuck in a corner at Day & Carter which is currently owned/operated by our family. It was framed and given to me as a birthday present by my parents several years ago. I didn't know it was Morrell's home when I started looking at it online in 2014, and then was more attached after finding out it was his home for practically his entire adult life. Morrell and Mayme had dogs over the course of their lives and would bury them in caskets in the back yard and put a stone up. Some of these stones (12 total I believe) date back to the 40's and many are in bad shape, currently arranged in the corner of the yard until we can clean it all up, hopefully this spring."
The second painting hangs on the landing of the main stairway at Day & Carter.