Joan S. Turnage

Published 10:25 am Friday, March 18, 2016

Memorial services for Joan S. Turnage are Saturday, March 19, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Monticello Baptist Church. Riverwood Family Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements. 

Visitation is Saturday, March 19, 2016, from 12 p.m. until time of services at the church.

Mrs. Turnage, 81, died Saturday, March 12, 2016, at her home in Monticello. She was born Dec. 27, 1934, in Mendenhall to the late Marvin Thomas Sullivan Sr. and Roxie Vernell McLain Sullivan.

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After becoming acutely ill on Valentine’s Day, she was diagnosed with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, which is a rare disease that attacks 1 in 200,000 people.

Joan was one of nine children. She attended Mendenhall High School and graduated from Clinton High School.

On July 5, 1951, she wed Kenneth Roberts. After their children were grown, she attended Southwest Mississippi Community College to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). Joan was very passionate about her nursing career; she was loved and appreciated by colleagues, patients, and families.

Joan loved the Lord and served him well. Her spiritual gifts and talents exemplified her servant’s heart and her genuine concern for people from all walks of life. She was an encourager and a mentor. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, sewing and reading. Joan was a classy lady who loved wearing her high heel shoes.

Music was an integral part of Joan’s life. She loved to sing and could whistle tunes for hours at a time. As the undeclared official champion of “Name That Tune,” she knew every word of every verse of countless sacred and secular songs. Joan was a devoted and enthusiastic member of two choirs at Monticello Baptist Church. While under the direction of Charlotte Ready, she enjoyed singing solos that were accompanied by Billie Lawrence, pianist and longtime friend. Because of her passionate love of her country, patriotic music was among her favorites.

Preceding her in death were parents; husbands, D.W. (Duke) Snyder and Thomas Albert Turnage; brothers, M.T. (Pete) Sullivan and Wesley Sullivan; sister, Helen Sinclair and husband, Charley; and son­in­law Donnie Lee Foster.

She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Jo Foster and Lessa Roberts; son, Rusty Roberts (Lejeana); five grandchildren, Ashley Jo Smith (Mike), Lee Foster (Bridy Jo), Katie Neal (Anthony), Dawn Goleman (Brad) and Dusty Roberts (Kayla); 18 great­grandchildren: Lauren Smith McGraw (Justin), Cole, Grant, Erica and Luke Smith, Tripp, Gabe and Micah Tess Foster, John Carter, Carson and Ava Neal, Blake Roberts, Julian, Marley and Myles Goleman, Lexi and Logan (Alexander) and Kade Roberts; and great­great-grandchildren, Ansylee McGraw and Tyson (due in June); three sisters (“sistas”), Betty Sue Taylor (James “Grassy”), Glenda Brooks (Harold) and Jane Everett (Bob); two brothers, Charles Sullivan and Billy G. (“Bucky”) Sullivan; and a host of nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial­donations may be made to Monticello Baptist Church (music or missions), Gideon’s International (Bibles) or your favorite charity.

To express your thoughts to the family, you may visit and click on her name to leave a comment.