Imogene (Gene) Palmer Turrentine was born on January 2, 1925 in Henderson, TN. She came to Shreveport in 1946 to care for her sister Hazel, who was a patient at the tuberculosis sanatorium. She rented an apartment from Pearl Browning and worked at a local dry cleaner. The Browning family turned out to be her family away from home and invited her to attend their church where she met Joe Turrentine, whom she later married in 1947.
Gene continued working as a cashier for Community Drug until her first child, Sue, was born. When Sue turned five and entered school, she went back to work as the payroll clerk for a chain of drugstores.
When her son David came along and attended Mooringsport Elementary School, Gene volunteered several days a week. Since she came so often, the principal talked her into doing it every day for pay. She did, for 24 years! She also kept the books for the basketball team and put lots of miles on the car hauling David and his teammates who did not have a ride to practice. She loved the game, having been a player herself years before.
Gene had the spiritual gift of charity, and was always helping others. Also, she was a great example of doing for others, no matter your color or station in life. Gene was fond of Hollis, who helped us around the house for years. She always made sure our outgrown clothes went to someone who needed them. She sat for countless hours in the hospital for family and friends. She and Joe taught the youth group at their church and sang in the choir. She gave permanents to my grandmothers and countless others who didn’t have the money or a way to get to the beauty shop. When her grandsons attended Walnut Hill Elementary, she volunteered there as a Teacher’s Aide part-time.
Gene is preceded in death by her parents, Hollis and Margaret Palmer; her husband of 57 years, Joseph S. Turrentine (1920-2005); sisters, Hazel Duncan and Gracie Mae Hendrickson; brother, Joe Frank Palmer; and son-in-law, Thomas Brevelle. She is survived by brothers, Leroy Palmer (Mary) and Herman Palmer (Martha); daughter, Janice Sue Brevelle Baker (Michael) and son, David Turrentine (Tammy); grandchildren, Ben Turrentine (Hannah); Andrew Turrentine; Jennifer Brevelle Campbell (Todd); and Courtney Brevelle Thompson (Nathan); great-grandchildren, Gwendolyn Campbell, Alaina Campbell, Shepherd Thompson and Griffin Thompson; and nephews, nieces and friends.
The family would like to give special thanks to Gene’s companions and aides during her final years, Claire Rogers, Martha Grisso, Rhonda Grubbs, and to the staff of Garden Park.
Memorials can be made to Mooringsport United Methodist Church or Summer Grove United Methodist Church in Shreveport.
There will be a graveside service for family and friends at Forest Park West on Saturday, November 28 at 11am. During this time of virus pandemic, attendees will be required to wear masks and practice physical distancing.