William Soria “Rusty” Turner died suddenly on September 14, 2018 at his home in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rusty was born on October 22, 1959 in Georgetown, South Carolina. He was preceded in death by his parents, Billy Roscoe and Mary Kathryn Sibley Turner of Mobile, Alabama; his sister, Marsha Candee’ Turner Grey of Vicksburg, Mississippi; and nephew Walker Neel Ehrhardt of Madison, MS.
He is survived by his brother Sibley Neel Turner (Terri) of Dothan, Alabama; his sister Kathryn Lucille McGill (David) of Lena, Mississippi; and his sister Mary Kevin Turner (Bernice) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Rusty grew up in Mobile, AL, Vicksburg, MS and Gulf Shores, AL graduating from nearby Foley High School in 1977 and earning his B.A. degree in Communications from the University of Alabama. Prior to moving to New Orleans, he lived in Greenwood, MS, where he met Michael-Chase Creasy while working for Mr. Creasy at WABG TV and then with the TV/radio industry as a broadcast account/advertising executive in Charlottesville, Clarksville, Norfolk and Richmond, VA. In New Orleans, he worked as a Trade Broker in the Barter Industry. With friends Tanya Galdamez and Jeffrey Chamblin, he was a founding partner of the New Orleans Trade Exchange where he worked as Trade Broker and Secretary/Treasurer from 1994 to 2007. Rusty had so many friends, being especially blessed by his gracious neighbor Vicki Hirsch.
Rusty had a big smile and a big laugh and was hardly ever seen without a Saint’s hat. His “Roll Tide!” and “Geaux Saints!” let you know he was a huge fan of the University of Alabama and New Orleans Saints. A loyal fan through thick and thin, he was especially ecstatic with the Saint’s Super Bowl Championship and the Tide’s National Championships. He loved all things New Orleans… an enthusiast of all the New Orleans festivals, especially Jazz Fest which he enjoyed attending with friends from all over the world and Mardi Gras, particularly the Krewe of Orpheus parade and festivities. He was very active in New Orleans charity organizations for many years, mainly the Art Against AIDS foundation, where he served on the board. Rusty loved to travel. Some of his favorite trips were to Germany with the Zelt’s; Costa Rica with his father, stepmother Mary Lou and Kevin Jarrell; Switzerland with his brother’s family; and Morocco where he spent time in the desert and learned to love the tasty food prepared in Moroccan tagines. He loved to eat. One of his oft-heard quotes was “Eat to live, don’t live to eat” but if you saw him eat at his favorite restaurants, Mandina’s and Sammy’s, you knew he did not stick closely to that motto!
Rusty found his greatest happiness in his nephews and nieces (Katie, Zach, Derek and Ryan; Wes and Walker; Joey; Lauren, Lindsey and Kathryn). He loved hosting them and showing them around his hometown New Orleans and wanted nothing but the best for these “really great kids”, as he referred to them, even as they grew to adulthood with kids of their own. Their well-being became his greatest passion in life. He loved them.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a local New Orleans charity in Rusty’s name.
Funeral services will be held at Jacob Schoen Funeral Home at 3728 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA on October 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM with his friends, The Rev’ds Jo P. & James J. Popham presiding. Visitation will precede the funeral at 10:00 AM.
A Celebration of Life tribute to Rusty from his friends will be held on October 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm. Condolences may be expressed at www.schoenfh.com