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This article was archived on 1/22/2014

Former City Councilor Roscoe Turner Passes Away

Roscoe Turner, former city councilor, died Tuesday evening of a heart attack suffered that morning. He was 81.

Turner was a long-time representative of Council District 3 on Tulsa's northeast side, which includes the Tulsa airport. He served five terms, winning his first election in 1998.

"We are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Councilor Turner," said Council Chair Karen Gilbert.

"He was a hard worker for his constituents and for the city of Tulsa. He will be deeply missed."

Before his time as a public servant, Turner worked as a boiler inspector at the City of Tulsa for 21 years.

Turner was born and raised in Tulsa and graduated from Booker T. Washington in 1949.

During his lifetime, he was active in many groups and organizations in Tulsa from neighborhood associations, to community and economic development committees, to the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Tulsa.

While on the Council, Turner worked to improve Tulsa's infrastructure, increase economic development and control crime.

He was always an advocate for "one Tulsa," and worked to unite the city's diverse populations.

Current District 3 City Councilor David Patrick often faced Turner in vying for the northeast side's Council seat, and said Turner's love for Tulsa was evident.

"We campaigned against each other nine times over an 18-year period, which demonstrates Roscoe's passion for Tulsa," Patrick said.

"Roscoe and I had a unique relationship with mutual respect for one another.

"We had an unspoken gentleman's agreement not to intervene while the other held office. We were simply two people with different philosophies, trying to occupy the same space.

"It takes courage to be a Councilman, which characterizes Roscoe, and he will certainly be missed," Patrick said.

Turner will be remembered for his service to Tulsa and for his belief in giving back to his community.