By Tia Lynn Lecorchick Managing Editor
In 1955, R.L. Turner and John Paul Jones opened R.L. Turner Funeral Home on Pearl Street in Madison, Georgia. Later John Paul Jones, a licensed funeral director, became a partner in the firm. Within a few years, the name of the funeral home changed to Jones and Turner Funeral Home. John Paul left the business to return to education and R.L. Turner became the sole owner. In 1959, the old Burney Street School was sold to Riley Taylor, R.L’s grandfather, and he built a new funeral home at 484 Burney Street, Madison, Georgia. Through the 1960s and 1970s, R.L. was granted a license to operate the first ambulance service in Morgan County while operating the funeral home until his death in 1979. His wife, Rena, who grew up in the funeral business took over the business and ambulance services. Later in the 1980s, the ambulance service was dissolved. Ms. Rena continued to operate Jones and Turner Funeral Home until her death in 2009. After her death in 2009, her son William assumed ownership of the business and continues to operate Jones and Turner Funeral Home with a dependable and dedicated staff. The funeral home was a meeting place for many civic organizations for the residents in Madison and Morgan County. Jones and Turner Funeral Home is by far the “Oldest Black Owned Business” in Morgan County and the city of Madison, and looks forward to serving the community and surrounding areas for another 60 or more years. According to Funeral Director William Justers, “Sixty Years” is a long time. Not many businesses in town are over 60-years-old. When you think of 60 years, you think of heritage and tradition, continuing to do what we do best.