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Turner’s passion for helping others shows in everything she does

Published 9:50pm Friday, July 11, 2014

MERLE MONAHAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

merlemonah@aol.com

FRANKLIN—Billie Turner believes that nothing beats volunteering to gain experience in whatever job you desire.

Billie Turner is the new director of Asa’s Neighborhood Memory Care at the Village at Woods Edge. Photo by Merle Monahan.
Billie Turner is the new director of Asa’s Neighborhood Memory Care at the Village at Woods Edge. Photo by Merle Monahan.

“That’s what I have done all my adult life,” said the new director of Asa’s Neighborhood Memory Care at the Village at Woods Edge. “I started when my first child started school. I was president of the PTA, classroom mother, and helped in Bible School at my church.

“I later served as president of the Franklin Junior Woman’s Club, and co-chaired Relay for Life for 15 years. During this time I was a member of both the Hunterdale and Franklin Fire Department’s ladies auxiliaries.

“You can’t believe the knowledge I gained through volunteering with people who just needed a little help,” she added with a smile. “And besides, I loved it.”

Turner’s passion for helping others, whether as a volunteer or otherwise, shows in everything she does. She has worked at the Village at Woods Edge as an administrative assistant since 2007 and for the past three years, has served as resident services and activities director.

It is obvious the residents there love her and equally obvious that she loves them.

In fact, Turner’s relationship with the residents is no doubt one reason she was chosen for her new position.

The energetic young caregiver has just been promoted to director of the new memory care unit at the village. She admits that she is excited and looks forward to its opening in the fall.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” Turner added.

The young mother of two, 46, was born and raised near Carrsville. She said she “attended schools all over the place,” starting at Southampton Academy.

“I left the academy after sixth grade and finished seventh grade at Carrsville. I then finished eighth grade at Franklin High, graduated high school at Windsor in 1987 and attended Paul D Camp Community College.”

Turner married Glenn Turner in 1988, after which she worked as receptionist at Bradshaw’s Veterinary Clinic for five years.

“But I decided to stay home with my daughter when she was born and that’s when I started volunteering,” she said.

Turner did not work until after her son was born and had entered school, although she was involved in the community.

“I was a substitute teacher at my children’s schools, Morton and King, for a while and also worked as receptionist at Hunterdale Church of Christ.

“I really found what I wanted when I came to the village, though,” Turner said. “I enjoy the work so much, it’s a pleasure to come in.”

She said her ability to work with patients with memory problems and their families was an asset in being considered for her new position

Turner has completed several courses in preparation for her new job, she added, including medication administration and assisting the nurses, who all will be under her supervision.

“We’ll have classes for the staff before we open and then classes will be ongoing.”

She said nurses for the new patients will multi-task, in that they will not only take care of medical needs, but be involved in preparing meals, bathing and activities.

Although Turner is dedicated to her job, she takes time to care for and join in activities with her family.

“Our daughter is involved in many activities at Virginia Tech and her father, our son and I travel to Blacksburg often to join her.

“As for our daughter, she hasn’t decided what she’ll do when she graduates, but she has mentioned that she would like to work in the same field I’m in,” Turner said with a smile. “I would like that.

“Then our son attends the Governor’s school in Norfolk,” she continued, “so we’ll sometimes meet him after school and take in a movie and have dinner.

“But one outing that I especially enjoy is when my mom, Peggy Cutchin, and I spend an evening together. “We’ll take in a movie, go shopping or just have dinner and talk.

“She is retired and stays home a lot, so this is good for both of us.

“Actually, I’m a lot like her, I think. In fact, she’s the one who first suggested that I volunteer,” Turner said.

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