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Fannie T. McCowin was born on January 4, 1931, to the late Ezekiel and Adline McCowin in Center, Texas. She was the sixth of eight children. Mrs. Fannie was educated in the Shelby County School System. At an early age, she met and married the late James C. Buckley (a.k.a. Bill) on August 22, 1947, a military veteran who served as a Sergeant in the United States Army, and a gospel quartet singer. It was her dream to move to Dallas, TX and immediately after marrying, they relocated to Dallas in 1948. To that union six children were born: Jesse, James (Jerry), Merdis, Velma, Vivian, and Rita. She and her husband had a strong commitment to family and as such, opened their home to four of her siblings (Cal, Verneal, S.A., Reather) to also move from Center, TX and live with them to begin new lives in Dallas. After the death of James Buckley, Mrs. Fannie eventually remarried the late Wilford P. Turner in 1972 to whom she was married for forty-two (42+) years until his death in 2015. No children were born to this union.
Mrs. Fannie was raised by her parents in a God-fearing home with an unwavering devotion to serving God; attending church regularly but also singing and praying at home. Though her maternal grandfather was a Baptist pastor, her parents united with Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ where she worshipped from a young age. It was some time before a local Triumph Church was established in Dallas. Therefore, she attended church regularly to hear her brothers and sisters, The McCowin Singers, sing at various church engagements. Eventually, when her brother-in-law (the late Pastor Alvin J. Washington) started Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ in Dallas, she became a founding member and remained a faithful Lifetime Member of Triumph until her passing. She served in the offices of Shepherd Mother, Treasurer of all church auxiliaries for many years, and in the position of Supporter. She was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit having accepted and confessed Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.
Mrs. Fannie was an exemplary cook, one of the best on this side of heaven. She worked as a caterer with Mrs. Gertrude Wilson Catering service and Robinetta Wilson for over 30 years. Though catering morning and evening events across the City of Dallas, Mrs. Fannie made sure her six children lacked for absolutely nothing; an immaculately clean home, clothes cleaned and pressed, always had food to eat, and ensured that all of her children were well-educated as high school graduates and graduated four of them with college credentials from associates to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. With the Christian teachings and spiritual values instilled within her children, she witnessed the spiritual maturation of three daughters accepting the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and their consecration and ordination as ordained preachers in the Methodist denomination. Her life and works were dedicated to God and her family including taking care of three of her grandchildren in their formative years (Jesse, Jr., Sha’Mika, and Lawrence) while parents worked in addition to managing her own catering career. Mrs. Fannie was a phenomenal woman with an unshakeable faith in God to the very end of her life.
She enjoyed traveling with her church, husband, daughters, and sister Pastor Dr. Reather Washington. She never learned to drive but traveled extensively giving directions to those who drove because she had an impeccable knowledge of direction. She visited various states in the United States. She flew on an airplane only once in her life to Phoenix, AZ in 1990 to take care of her 3-month-old grandson, Lawrence, while her daughter worked. And though she had a love for travel, she was not going across any ocean.
Mrs. Fannie is preceded in death by husbands James C. Buckley, and Wilford P. Turner, three children, sons Jesse Lee Buckley, Sr. and Jerry Curtis Buckley; her daughter Rita Marie Buckley, and stepson James C. Buckley, Jr.. In addition to her mother and father, several siblings also preceded her in death -- the late Leonard McCowin, Howard McCowin and wife Elnora, Lamar McCowin and wife Lurline, and sister Verneal McCowin.
She leaves to cherish her memory three daughters: The Reverends Merdis Buckley, Velma (Buckley) Coleman, and Vivian Buckley. Four grandchildren: Jesse Buckley, Jr. (Diane), Cedric Buckley (Qjuanna), Sha’Mika Bailey (Cortney), and Anthony Lawrence Coleman, Jr. who had a deep bond with his grandmother; nine great grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren; brothers Cal McCowin (Bobbie), S. A. McCowin, and sister Reather Washington; and, a host of nephews and nieces, cousins, and many wonderful friends.
Mrs. Fannie T. Turner leaves a legacy to her family that serving God should never be considered an option but rather, a committed way of life.