Dr. James Witcher Turner, Jr.

dr. james  turner, jr.
Dr. James Witcher, Turner Jr. Jim, 84, passed away at home in Oakton, VA April 29, 2023, with family by his side. The cause was Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

Jim was born in Danville, VA, June 8, 1938, to the late James Witcher Turner and Nancy Fitzgerald Turner. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Evelyn Havens Turner, his children James Glenn Turner (Stacey) of Marco Island, FL, and Heather Turner Turton (Michael) of Atlanta, GA, four grandchildren, Allison Turner, Grant Turner (Paige), William Turton, Emma Turton, and brother, Michael Turner (Stacey). His brother, Dudley Turner, predeceased him (also by IPF).

Jim graduated from Duke University, was President of Phi Kappa Sigma and Editor of The Playbill. He attended Duke University Medical School. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Jim received his training at Duke and Washington University, where he was a fellow in Hematology and Chief Resident. He served in the Army 1966 to ‘68 and began private practice in Springfield, VA in 1971. From 1987 to 2007 when he retired, he was a solo practitioner in Oakton. Jim was known as a thoughtful, intelligent, wise, caring and truly loved physician.

Jim loved Duke basketball, and enjoyed gardening, music, art and painting, golf, dinner with friends, visits with his children and grandchildren, travel with Evelyn and returning to his grandparents’ home in Pelham, NC where he spent many happy days as a boy. He was steadfast in his faith and a member of Fairfax United Methodist Church.

The family is grateful for the superb care and attention of INOVA Advanced Lung Disease Department, Drs. Whitney Brown and Steven Nathan, his Hospice nurse, Cindy Aaron RN, and many dear friends who supported Jim and Evelyn as the disease progressed over the years.

A service and reception will be held in June. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fairfax United Methodist Church or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The online guestbook is available at www.moneyandking.com

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Memories Timeline


  1. We came to know Jim through his wife, Evelyn who is a member of a women’s organization that Susie belongs to in Virginia. And we got to know him through his son who is a motorcycle rider and has ridden with Dale and our sons in St. Louis, MO. Since our departure from Virginia, we have made several trips back to our former home, where we were able to enjoy time with Jim and Evelyn in their lovely home. Jim and my husband Dale shared many hours in discussing common interests. A gracious host, loving father, and husband were evident at each gathering. We are grateful to have been a part (albeit small) of his long and successful life. Warm memories help to sooth our thoughts, which trust that our Father-Mother God is taking good care of him as he progresses through his journey Spirit-ward. Lovingly submitted, Susie and Dale Henn – St. Louis, MO

  2. For all his accomplishments, Jim was a gentle man. He was never bravado, never loud, never in your face. He just went his way, and he got good things done.

    At a class reunion some years back, a question to break the ice asked what it is the best advice you’ve ever been given? Jim. not missing a beat, said to marry Evelyn and stay out of organized medicine.

    Jim did both. He and Evelyn raised a loving. successful family. Thousands of patients benefited from his practicing medicine as he believed it should be practiced, intelligently, impeccably, empathically.

    He could be droll. He amused our online bookclub with tales of growing up on his grandfather’s NC farm, the railroad engines tooting in the background. He made us city boys wish we had grown up the same way.

    Fred Andrews

  3. Until their brother Mike was born decades later, “Jimmy” and Dudley were my only cousins. I knew Jim for nearly eight decades. Each summer the four of us boys (including my older brother “Eddie”) would gather at the home of our paternal grandmother in Pelham, NC.

    Jim was older and far more serious than the rest of us, and we looked up to him in awe. I remember he used to whittle fancy carvings of little men (elves? gnomes?–I never knew, but they sure were impressive), and he would look out for the younger boys.

    I was not in the least surprised when he became a physician, as I knew he could accomplish anything he desired. Nor was I surprised when he married the impressive Evelyn, whose own talents were so intimidating yet exceeded by her kindness.

    I got to spend some time with Glenn when he was completing his Eagle Scout endeavor (my Dad–Col. Edwin Witcher Turner, MD, USAF–and I both took great pride in being Eagle Scouts) and Heather about the time she graduated from high school because of our shared interest in photography. Had I not known Jim and Evelyn I would have struggled to understand how one family could produce two such extraordinary children. But, knowing their parents, that was to be expected.

    I profoundly regret that I did not get to spend more time with Jim and his family as adults, as there were few people I admired more. He was the perfect gentleman, and I never observed or heard of an incident where he intentionally caused pain or even discomfort to anyone. I never heard him disparage anyone, and he honestly seemed oblivious to his own talents and accomplishments. If you Google “humble” or “modest,” Dr. Jim Turner’s photo should show up as the first image.

    Jim lived for nearly eighty-five years, and he lived them well–never missing an opportunity to help others. He took understandable pride in the success of his children and grandchildren, and when my son Thomas and I visited with Jim and Evelyn a few weeks before he passed we realized his health was declining. But his mind and sense of humor seemed as strong as ever.

    Jim was a man of strong faith, and I believe that he continues to serve God and enhances the pleasure of all around him in Heaven. Evelyn’s devotion to him as his primary caregiver was truly inspiring, and should guarantee her a special place when they are reunited in Heaven.

    Jim will be missed by all who knew him on Earth. And yet, in a very real sense, he will live on through the lives of Evelyn, Glenn, Heather, Allison, Grant, William and Emma. And that realization brings a big smile to my face.

    May he rest in peace, secure in the knowledge that the world is a better place because of his presence here.

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