Biographical Sketch of Dr. Lonnie Ranson Turney

May 10, 1915 – June 23, 2002

Lonnie Ranson Turney was born on May 10, 1915 in Clebourn, Arkansas, the youngest son of William and Henrietta Turney. He had two sisters, one brother and one half-brother.


He graduated from high school in Heber Springs, Arkansas in 1934, then attended Draughon School of Business from 1938 to 1940. During the WWII years, he served in the US Navy, discharged on February 21, 1946. Immediately, he enrolled in Little Rock Junior College. Two years later, he moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas and receive a Bachelor of Science degree. Returning to Little Rock, he enrolled in the University of Arkansas School of Medicine receiving an M. D. in 1953 at age 38. While he was a student in medical school he worked at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Turney completed his internship at Baptist Medical Center and his residency as a general practitioner at Prescott and McGehee hospitals in 1956.


Lonnie Turney married Evelyn Louise Crider on October 26, 1940 before his Navy enlistment. She was a constant support throughout his college years and medical practice in McGehee. The couple had two children, William Dalton (1959) and Margaret Ellen (1961).


Dr. Turney started his practice in McGehee immediately after finishing his residency. He made house calls when needed in his early years. Always interested and concerned about the McGehee-Desha County Hospital, built in 1966, he served as secretary of the medical staff and later as its President. Susan Gallion, President of the Desha Historical Society, wrote in a letter that Dr. Turney was a very caring doctor.


Professionally, he was a member of the Southeast Medical Society, a lifetime member of the American Medical Society, the Arkansas Medical Society and the Desha County Medical Society.


His interests were broad. He was a service to the Community, as Water Commissioner of the town of McGehee and a member of the Chamber of Commerce. He was well known at the Lions Club, the Masonic Lodge where he was a 32 degree mason, the Delta Country Club, and as a member of the First Baptist Church.


In 1993, Dr. Turney retired. He had served the people of Desha County with sincere loving care for 37 years. Death occurred on June 23, 2002, at the age of 87. He is buried at Center Point Cemetery near Quitman, Arkansas.


Betty L. Battenfield September 2019