|Birth: ||Mar. 18, 1922|
|Death: ||Feb. 14, 2011|
Gilbert Manly Turner, retired businessman if Houston, Texas, died peacefully Tuesday, February 14, after a long illness in Little Rock, Arkansas, surrounded by loving caregivers and family members. He was born March 18, 1922, at Travis Peak, Texas, the fifth of seven children born to George Manly and Anna Marie Gerstman Turner. He grew up in Milan County. After public schooling, he went to Texas A&M University in 1941, working 3 part-time jobs and maintaining a perfect grade point average every semester.
In 1943 he left for Officers Training School, serving in the Quartermaster Corps, U.S. Army, 1944-46, returning to the University in 1946. He graduated at the head of his class in Business/Accounting. He was on the National Championship Pistol Team, the Rifle team, the Distinguished Students Council and was President of the Accounting Society.
In 1948, while working as a CPA, he bought into a small boring company. He revolutionized the industry with his inventions and innovations in machinery and methods of boring and tunneling on which he held the patents. BorTunCo, in time, became a conglomerate of companies becoming the largest in the country specializing in horizontal drilling in all difficult soil conditions, and specializing in boring and tunneling under roadways, railways and waterways. He, along with his employees, invented the ROCSAW a drilling machine that gained approval of the Alaska Pipeline authorities, because the ROCSAW allowed the integrity of the Tundra to be maintained. The ROCSAW was used in various parts of the world and has evolved into many variations and designs today.
He was one of the founders of American Steel Building Company, Inc. later becoming Chairman if the Board and CEO, being an integral part of the company for over 30 years. The company specialized in large, pre-engineered buildings designed specifically for every industry from grain elevator storage, airplane hangers, industrial and commercial buildings and sports arenas in over fifty countries.
Always dedicated to God, Country and family, he served tirelessly at Second Baptist Church, on the Board of Trustees of Houston Baptist University as Chairman for nineteen years, Chairman of the President's Council and Developments Council. Mr. Turner was the first to bring to the University the idea of fully endowed academic scholarships, three of which were funded by Mr. Turner. He was honored with the Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University. He served for thirty years with Youth for Christ and was Chairman of the Billy Graham Crusade for Greater Houston and the Gulf Coast, 1981.
During the Reagan Administration he was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve as Chairman of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. He was named Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University in 1984. He worked tirelessly for Texas A&M in many capacities, endowing scholarships, serving on the Chancellor's Century Council, sponsoring basketball broadcasts, the weekly football program and the football coach's TV show. He was a member of the Houston Aggie Club and the Diamond Century Club. Dedicated to his community, he served on The Houston Chamber of Commerce as Chairman of several committees. He was one of the founders and past President of Houston Contractors Association and a member of the Political Affairs Committee of Rotary, the Texas Highway Branch of American General Contractors Association. He was appointed to the San Jacinto Water Authority by Governor Clements.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Claydene Kornegay Turner, daughter, Suzanne Mac Neil, grandson, Gregg Manly Turner, Jr., two brothers and one sister. He is survived by one brother, Eugene Turner of Alexandria, Virginia, two sisters, Lucinda Elliott and Annabelle Jantzen both of Austin, Texas; daughter Lillian Porter (Jim) of Little Rock, Arkansas; son Gregg Manly Turner of Llano, Texas; grandchildren Cathy Jones (Tim) of Little Rock, Arkansas; Alan Mac Neil (Julie); Andrew Mac Neil of Leander, Texas; and Cameron Turner of Llano, Texas, as well as seven great-grandchildren and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
He loved life, people, travel, challenges, church, ranching, Houston, and above all his family. He was of the generation that believed that a "Man's Word was his Bond" and giant contracts were sealed with a single handshake. He remained true to his word all of his life. He will be greatly missed.
There will be a funeral service at the Gause Baptist Church at 1 P.M., in Gause, Texas Friday, February 18th, followed by burial at the Gause Cemetery, under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home, and officiated by Reverend Jimmy Sanders. There will also be a memorial service Saturday, February 19th, at Second Baptist Church in Houston at 10A.M. Local funeral arrangements are under the direction of www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers memorials should be sent to; Houston Baptist University Endowment Scholarship Fund, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, Texas 77074; Texas Baptist Children's Home, 1301 N. Mays Street, Round Rock, Texas 78664-2945; Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive, Houston, Texas 77057; Texas A & M University Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840; Texas A&M Alumni Association, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840.
Published in Houston Chronicle from February 17 to February 18, 2011
Claydene Kornegay Turner (1926 - 2007)
Created by: Elaine
Record added: Feb 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65750239