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George E. 'Mooney' Turner, painter

George E. Turner
George E. Turner (Baltimore Sun)

George E. "Mooney" Turner, a former newspaper copy boy who later became a painter and carpenter, died May 1 at Good Samaritan Hospital of prostate cancer. He was 65.

The son of Joseph C. Turner Sr., a steelworker, and Alma R. Turner, a homemaker, George Edward Turner was born in Baltimore and raised in the city's Woodbourne neighborhood.

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He attended city public schools and enlisted in the Navy in 1969, where he earned his General Educational Development certificate.

Mr. Turner served as a boatswain's mate aboard the destroyer USS Newman K. Perry in the Mediterranean. He was discharged in 1971.

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That year, he joined the staff of The Evening Sun, where he worked as a copy boy. After retiring from The Baltimore Sun in 1996, he worked as a self-employed painter and carpenter.

Mr. Turner, who lived in the city's Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood, was a music fan and had amassed a large collection of rhythm-and-blues recordings and CDs, said his wife of 29 years, the former Marion Newell.

A fisherman, Mr. Turner's favorite spots were Cox Point near Middle River, North Point State Park in Annapolis and the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park outside Cambridge.

The park is named for his former colleague, Bill Burton, the longtime Evening Sun outdoors editor and columnist, who died in 2009.

"For the last five or six years, we'd charter a boat and expose people to fishing. We'd sail over to Crisfield and back," said Mrs. Turner. "He shared catfish and rockfish catch with family and neighbors, and we'd sometimes have a big fish fry."

Mr. Turner was a surrogate father and grandfather to neighborhood children, who called him "Mr. George," his wife said.

Mr. Turner was a member of Mount Zion Hill Baptist Church, 2910 Southern Ave., Baltimore, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Turner is survived by a son, Brian Turner of Baltimore; a daughter, Shantelle Smith of Dundalk; his parents, who live in Ramblewood; two brothers, Joseph C. Turner Jr. of Baltimore and David Turner of East Baltimore; a sister, Dottie Bowers of Ramblewood; and three grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Pauline Sims ended in divorce.

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