On September 17th, 1945 Verna Mae Turner entered this world! She is the second child of six born to Louis and Georgia Turner. Verna enjoyed going to school and playing with friends. Although Verna became a mother at a young age, she didn’t let that stop her from receiving her high school diploma from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1963. She was very proud of her accomplishment. While caring for her children, she had hobbies such as talking on the CB radio, her handle was “Sweet Georgia Brown”. She also loved thrift shopping; her favorite place was the “Goodwill as Is” store.
In 1978 she met her friend, Cathy Bruce who invited her to church. That invitation changed her life for the better! She gave her life to Christ and became a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist church under the leadership of the late great Reverend Felton Howard, she served under his leadership for thirty years. She served in many church auxiliaries; senior choir, supervisor of the children’s choir, mothers board, printing staff, praise team, and the missions department. She never missed a service unless she was sick. Society would call her a “Social Butterfly” but we know she was committed to sharing God’s love with everyone she met! Therefore, she was always one of the last members to leave the church. Verna’s love for God and his word was unmatched. She loved God whole heartedly and got her praise on at any given moment! If service was too quiet, she would be the first and the LOUDEST to give God a praise! Verna gave praise everywhere she went! Grocery store, parking lot or where ever it didn’t matter to her, because her worship was real! She loved to encourage young people to praise God no matter their age. Psalms 46:6 declares “sing praises to God; sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises!” Verna did that until she could sing no more. She shared her gift of song in the senior choir at Antioch Baptist church, The Mass Fellowship choir, The Portland Mass choir, Portland Metropolitan Youth choir and GMWA Portland chapter. She loved them all. She was also a choir mother for Heavenbound Gospel Music Ministries. She loved young people and wanted to see them saved. Verna was called to intercession, for fifteen years she participated in prayer with people from all over the country.
In 2001 after working thirty years at the Children’s Service Division of the State of Oregon, she retired at the age of 55. Verna loved children, because of that love she had a tremendous bond with her grandkids, but her great- grandkids had her heart! She was affectionally known as “GG” she loved them dearly. As a mother she wanted nothing more than her children to be saved and be able to take care of themselves. Verna had a big heart and wanted to help people anyway she could.
When Verna’s health started to decline, she never felt bad or sorry for herself, she would keep giving God the praise and keep a smile on her face! She never complained and handled everything like the queen that she was. Three years ago, they said she wouldn’t make it, but she fought. Verna made it through her 75th birthday and the holidays of 2020. When she was ready to transition to her new body and home she did just that, on January 16th , 2021 at 7:55 p.m., God said “Come home my daughter” as she so often said, “I’m going home” and she went to her heavenly home. She was loved and will be missed but God loved her most and we can only strive to make it to see her again.
She leaves to cherish her memory her beloved children; Philip Perez, Janell Perez, Michael and Carrie Perez, and her baby girl Akiba Fisher. 9 grandkids 15 great grandkids, 3 sisters; Barbara Bailey (Bill) of Tucson, Arizona, Lucinda Baldwin and Shirleen Reed of Portland, Oregon, and Louis Turner Jr. (Debbie) of Vancouver, Washington and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and close friends. She is proceeded in death by her son Richard L. Perez, her brother Ronnie Turner, her mother and Father Louis and Georgia Turner.
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