On Eagle's Wing

About James Austin Turner

Why were customers and employees so incredibly loyal? He had the ability to treat each customer as his only customer, and he believed each employee was an important asset in helping the company reach its goals. Concern for employees and their families kept him in business, and through the years he never lost that concern. He was just as happy eating bar-b-que on a picnic table with branch employees as sitting in a four star restaurant with corporate presidents. No day to Jim Turner was a work day. He did what he loved best everyday.

When in the summer of his eighty eighth year, doctors determined his bronchial condition would not improve, Mr. Turner would still come to work on days when he felt well enough, because the time had finally come to put his affairs in order. The habits of a lifetime and love for National Welders could not change, even with the passing of time. One of his doctors told the family that when he went into the examination room to see Mr. Turner, he was calmly sitting in the chair with his cell phone conducting business as if he would be there for another fifty years. In final analysis, he was both a simple and complex individual, a person of single minded determination with a will of steel, but who rarely got angry or even upset during a crisis. Mr. Turner was always, and in many ways different from others.

"New employees will never have the experience of seeing the light tan Cadillac pull up and seeing a somewhat short, white- haired gentleman in a sports coat and tie, jump out and walk around talking to everyone as if he owned the place. People like Mr. "T" only come around once in a lifetime, and we are all a little better person for having known him."

-Lewis Barber