WHITE HALL — Daisy Musgrove Turner’s passion for history may have been matched only by her zest for brightening the future of others.
“Miss Daisy was one of the kindest ladies I’ve ever met,” Tim Whisenhunt said of Turner, who died Tuesday at the age of 82. “We shared a love for history and I learned a lot about White Hall and Pine Bluff history from her. But more importantly, she taught me the lesson of service. She showed me that there are many ways you can serve.
“You can protect and preserve history,” he said. “You can provide for others, especially the poor. And you can have civic pride and work to make life better for everyone in your community.”
Whisenhunt, a Pine Bluff resident who graduated from White Hall High School, is Turner’s junior by five decades. But he said there was no “generation gap” between himself and the woman he described as “almost a grandmother to me.”
Turner — buried at Mt. Ida Cemetery following Friday funeral services in the Cranford Funeral Home Chapel — and Whisenhunt became friends after meeting at the White Hall Museum, where she served both as a volunteer and board member.
“I liked working with her on projects and enjoyed the stories she shared with me about her earlier days in Pine Bluff and White Hall and when she lived in Vermont and Alaska,” Whisenhunt said.
Turner was a collector of historical items and found pleasure in sharing her bounty with the public. She had donated or loaned countless items to the White Hall Museum for various displays over the years and more often than not helped in organizing or individually arranged the exhibits.
Her affection for the community, her family and history was evidenced when her son was murdered during a robbery. Turner — a business and civic leader who served with the White Hall Planning Commission for over a decade — decided her son deserved a memorial, so she donated his collection of antique tools to the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum, giving the public a chance to view the rare pieces.
She was also a “driving force” in the establishment of White Hall’s Veterans Memorial, said White Hall High School social studies teacher Curtis White, who also championed the effort.
“I don’t know where we would be with the museum or monument if it hadn’t been for Daisy,” said White, a past White Hall Museum board member. “She was a great public servant. We both loved history and antiques. We were friends for over 20 years, and I have a lot of fond memories of her.”
Among those recollections is a Christmas “from back in the ’90s,” White related.
“She had an amazing collection of Christmas articles,” he said. “We decorated the museum in nothing but Christmas items, from wall to wall. We worked so hard, and it was beautiful. I’ve got video of it. That was a wonderful Christmas for us, and for all the museum visitors who got a chance to see her Christmas collection.”
White believes it’s that spirit of sharing with others that will be the characteristic for which his friend will be most recalled.