Vera Theresa Turner


Vera Theresa Turner, 72, of Cleveland, rested peacefully with her Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, surrounded by her daughter, son-in-law and a multitude of prayer warriors around the world.

She was born on March 3, 1949, to the late Carl J. Scoggins Sr. and Mary Louise Overby Scoggins Smith.

Theresa was a treasure who was a caregiver in every sense of the word. She was a mother, who wore that calling as a mantle to extend love and kindness without judgment, to everyone she met.

Retired from a 50-year career of nursing that began at Bradley Memorial Hospital, she transitioned to work with special needs pediatrics for the remainder of her career.

Many families called her their own and she called them hers. She furthered her caregiving by being a foster parent for special needs pediatrics while completing her BSN in nursing and graduating from the first class of the Erlanger Baroness School of Nursing in Chattanooga.

After retiring, she joined her daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, Adam, to co-labor at the founding of WillowBend Farms, Inc., to extend hope, joy and love to survivors of human trafficking. In this work, she gained even more sons and daughters who she called her own, and she leaves an extended legacy with her quiet, respected prayer warrior character, leading others to postures of peace in Christ Jesus.

Survived by her loving daughter, Sarah Colleen McKinnis, and son-in-love, Adam A. McKinnis, she was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Turner; and sister, Carla Wright.

She will be lovingly remembered by her family: Steve Wright, Jackie (Tera) Scoggins, Lynette (Thomas) Mahoney, Vonda (Randy) McMinn and Sherry Murray. Her cousins, nephews, nieces and their children will carry her with them. “Mother Theresa” will also continue to be loved and honored by the WillowBend Farms community and her lifelong dedication to Mt. Olive Church of God.

Her heart’s desire was for the mission of hope and love. In lieu of flowers she requested donations be made to WillowBend Farms, Inc.

A Celebration of Life for Theresa will be held on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, at 4 p.m. at Mt. Olive Church of God, with the Rev. Gary Sears, the Rev. Clarence Gammill and Adam McKinnis officiating. A private interment will follow in LaFollette at a later date.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, prior to the service at Mt. Olive Church of God.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Turner family guestbook at



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