In Memory of our AKRI Colleague, Leader, and Friend

Rev. Dr. Kimberley A. Turner

The link to a Tribute Wall and Obituary (copied below) can be found here:

Kimberley Turner, Ph.D, M.Div., daughter of Catharyn Alva Butler Turner and Joe Louis Turner, mother of one son, John-Terry, and grandmother of three, Dominique, Miel, and Christopher, was a dynamic, brilliant, loving woman who spent her life in service. Her professional and educational careers are testament to her dedication of making the world a better place.

After finishing her Bachelor’s degree at the Colorado College in 1984, she began working at the Center for Disability and Socioeconomic Policy Studies at Howard University, where she eventually became the associate director. She was integral in that Center's research, education, and training of its workforce. Her work included providing a voice for persons with disabilities, increasing public awareness of the unnecessary barriers in public access created for people with disabilities, as well as highlighting the additional difficulties that historically marginalized Black and Brown people with disabilities face. Her work at the Center was increasingly meaningful as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law during her tenure there in 1990, the same year she earned her Masters of Education from Howard University.

While managing a busy center and ensuring people with disabilities were met with dignity and respect, she began work in group relations through the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. She was a member and past President of the Washington-Baltimore Center for the Study of Group Relations throughout her lifetime. Following her time at Howard University, she entered the public sector, where she continued to work to serve the public good. Kimberley began a career with the District of Columbia Department of Health. Her extensive work as an advocate for people with disabilities served her well as she moved into program management, with a focus on workplace safety in the District of Columbia’s Department of Health. There she continued to challenge herself academically, and in 2005 she earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Communication; with an emphasis in Organizational Development from Howard University. She continued her work in group relations, traveling around the country and the world to lead and consult in group relations conferences. Her work in group relations, disability advocacy, and her own personal commitment to improve the lives of those around her, and those who may not have realized they have a voice, led Dr. Kimberley Turner to religious ministry.

Kimberley embodied the commandment to “love thy neighbor”. She was quick to hug any and everybody. She was quick to lend a hand to anyone in need. Kimberley fed the homeless and hungry. She read to children. She led clothing, food, and blood drives. Quietly, without fanfare or acknowledgement, she helped hundreds of people navigate illness, poverty, and despair, all while radiating her own embodiment of Christ’s commandment to love. She shepherded several people through cancer journeys, accompanying them on first visits, and holding their hands as they crossed over. She walked hundreds of miles to raise funds for cancer research. Over the last seven years of her life, she focused her volunteer fundraising efforts on suicide prevention through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and again walked hundreds of miles to save lives.

Kimberley loved fiercely. She loved to teach, to learn, to serve, leading her to make manifest her service in a ministerial capacity. Kimberley earned her Masters of Divinity Degree in 2012 at Wesleyan Theological Seminary, and was ordained at Metropolitan Baptist Church in 2013. Her life as a minister, though formalized through ordination in 2013, truly began years ago, as a big sister to, Duane, Kevin, Tamara, Catharyn, and Jennifer. This was her first experience of leading a flock, and keeping them safe. And though Bryan was her big brother, she ministered to him as well.

While at Metropolitan Baptist Church she served in multiple capacities including being the Coordinator of the Sunday school and Communion Service at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home, and the chair of the Women’s Ministry. Dr. Kimberley Turner has always exemplified service and the strands of her life’s work can be seen in her legacy of love, woven into a mantle worn in her daily life, her ministerial practice, and her group relations work. All that she did was with the vision of creating a better world for others. Kimberley was at once grand-daughter, daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, counselor, ray of hope, ray of truth, ray of life, and a true embodiment of God’s goodness here on earth. We are all blessed to have known her and to celebrate her life. Dr. Kim lived life exceptionally well.

Kimberley Alexis Turner, born June 8, 1959 in Colorado Springs, Colorado died peacefully on February 10, 2023. She was predeceased by her parents Catharyn Alva Butler Turner and Joe Louis Turner and her sister Briyenne Turner. She is survived by her son, John-Terry Butler Turner (Gnivri), her grandchildren, Dominique, Miel, and Christopher, her siblings Bryan Carlyle Turner, Duane Everett Butler Turner (Eva), Kevin Joseph Turner Sr. (Kathy), Tamara Louise Turner, Catharyn Alva Turner, II, Jennifer Allyson Turner, Tamara Watts-Guynn, Tonya Turner, Tuiwanna Turner, Dawn Turner Glaspie (Raymond), Sonya Turner Robinson, Sherri Turner Kelley, (Anthony Sr.), and Joe Louis Turner Jr. (Sherita). She is also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues, and all those she met, loved, and touched.

Kimberley shared a passion for reducing death by suicide, through walking in the yearly fundraiser sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Out of the Darkness The overnight, a walk that starts at sundown and finishes at sunset. She participated in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk for six years. This would have been her seventh walk, back in her home city, Washington DC, where she participated in her first Overnight walk, walking from sunset to sunrise!

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to AFSP, her fundraising page link is below.