HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Law enforcement officers from different walks of life and several generations filled the halls of Mayfair Church of Christ Monday to celebrate the life of a decades-long Huntsville police investigator.
Most of those in attendance had the same thoughts about Howard Turner; he was not only good at his job in law enforcement, but even more importantly – he was a good man.
“This man made a mark in life,” said Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Turner died last week after a battle with cancer. On Monday, members of the community arrived in droves to pay their final respects.
Turner’s son, Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner, and other relatives could be seen in the sanctuary being embraced by mourners. A sheriff’s office spokesperson says this time has been difficult for the sheriff.
“Howard was the sheriff’s best friend,” said Brent Patterson. “Any time our sheriff needed someone to lean on and get information from it was his dad, because that’s all the sheriff knew growing up, was law enforcement.
Broussard says Howard Turner had a rare gift with people.
“Everyone loved Howard. And by everyone I’m talking about fellow police officers, judges, juries, prosecutors, even defense attorneys,” Broussard said. “Even the people he arrested and put in jail.”
Tracy Hereford told News 19 that he was one of those people who was on the wrong side of the law growing up. He credits Howard Turner with helping him turn his life around.
“He saved me years ago, and I probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him,” he said. “He just inspired me in what he did, and I just love the guy. I came up here to show respect for him and Kevin also because they’ve done a lot for us.”
Hereford says Turner spoke a language that made even the toughest of criminals stop and listen. And for all those lives that were touched, he says job well done.
Turner received full honors performed by the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office honor guard during his memorial service.