The youngest blessing of 7, Velma Ruth Turner was born on April 1, 1939, in Hughes Springs, TX to Lurrie H. Turner Sr. and Cassie Mae Brannon. She attended Love Chapel Elementary School in Hughes Springs before moving to Dallas and graduating from Lincoln High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Prairie View A&M College of Texas in 1959 and a Master Degree in Secondary Education (with a dual emphasis on US History and Special Education) from the University of North Texas in 1961.
Her teaching career began in the southern sector of Dallas at Madison High School followed by a move to Oak Cliff at Franklin D Roosevelt High School.
On November 29, 1969, she married the love of her life, Charles Stredic (Boling, TX), at Good Street Baptist Church in Dallas. She took an enormous leap of faith in 1977, when Charles received a promotion at IBM that relocated them to Harrisburg, PA. While there, Velma continued to flourish as an educator and mentor to young adults. Upon her return to Texas in 1983, her teaching career resumed at Hillcrest North High School, Thomas Edison Middle School, E. D. Walker Special Education Center, and finally back to Thomas Edison where she retired after 41 years. Velma passionately devoted her life’s work to the enrichment, maturation, and success of her students. It was not uncommon to overhear her laughter-filled conversations with her former students from Pennsylvania – forty plus years later! Truly remarkable.
For over 30-years Velma was a dedicated member of Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. As an active participant in the Mature Adults Ministry, she would proudly strut her stuff whenever it was time for “The Hat Ladies” to gather for an outing to celebrate a birthday, holiday, or other special occasion. When not at church she enjoyed gathering with friends and family, cooking her legendary applesauce, watching and oftentimes participating in The Wheel of Fortune, spending quality time with her canine companion Spike, and tending to the rose garden outside the entryway to her home in Dallas.
She is cherished in memory by her son Daron Stredic, daughter-in-law Maria Rodriguez, beloved grandchildren Lance and Celeste Stredic, eldest sister Maxine Cash, nieces Sherrie Cash and Janice Woods, and great-nephew Jason Woods as well as a host of extended family members, church members, neighbors, and friends that she always lovingly referred to as “my children”.
Velma was preceded in death by her husband of 36 years Charles Stredic, parents Lurrie H. and Cassie Mae, and siblings: Schuler B. Turner, Zeta Turner Russell, Vivian Turner Dansby, Lurrie H. Turner Junior, and Ezelle Turner Hall.