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Erma Small Turner

Erma Grace Small Turner, 104, died Thursday, November 6, at Winslow Memorial Home in Elizabeth City.

Erma was born October 9, 1910, near Hookerton in Greene County, North Carolina. She attended public school in Hookerton where she graduated as Valedictorian in 1928. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Carolina Teachers College (now ECU). She was a devoted secondary education teacher (primarily science), teaching first in Jasper, then Princeton, and finally Elizabeth City. Erma met her husband, John Norman Turner, Jr., in Jasper where he also taught, and they married on November 24, 1942 in Princeton. Soon they moved to Elizabeth City where they both had long careers as dedicated educators. John died in 1976.

Erma was an active member of the Methodist Church, primarily at Rainbow United Methodist Church near Snow Hill during her formative years, and finally First United Methodist Church in Elizabeth City. She also was a member of various education-related organizations.

Erma was the daughter of Noah Franklin Small, Sr. and Mary (Lee) Small. She was the granddaughter of Joshua and Didami (Taylor) Small of Carteret County, and of Amos and Nancy (Goodson) Lee of Lenoir County. She was predeceased by all of her siblings: James Lee Small, Nettie Cornelia Small, Minnie Gertrude Thornton, Carrie May Tyndall, Noah Franklin Small, Jr., and Seth Hardy Small.

She is survived by her only child, Claude Lee Turner and his wife, Donna, of Mechanicsville, VA, and by her only grandchild, John Norman Turner of Alexandria, VA. She also is survived by several nieces and nephews.

A Graveside Service will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, November 15th , at the Rainbow Cemetery with services provided by Taylor-Tyson Funeral Service of Snow Hill.

A Memorial Service will be held at 3:30 PM on Saturday, November 15th, at the First United Methodist Church in Elizabeth City.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice, or to First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Road Street, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909; Rainbow United Methodist Church, 231 Harper Drive, Snow Hill, NC, 28580; or ECPPS Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2453, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Online condolences may be expressed at