BERNICE FROST TURNER
MAY 12,1926 – DECEMBER 28, 2022
OUR PRECIOUS “CHINA DOLL”
Bernice, Frost family matriarch, was born May 12, 1926, in Washington, DC. She was the youngest child of Edward (1881-1950) and Mary Coleman Frost (1884-1960), as well as being the last surviving sibling of Dorothy Frost Younger (1904-1996), Edward “Bus” Frost Jr. (1906-1961), William Henry Frost Jr. “Toller” (1908-1924), Nettie Frost Hughes “Pat” (1916-1993), infant Mary E. Frost (1922), Alphonso A. Frost “Phons” (1924-2001), and half-brothers: Jake Minor (1901-) and Charles Henry Minor (1902-1966).
Being a surprise mid-life baby and very beautiful, she was adored and pampered by all who knew her. Her older brothers and sisters, some who had children older than she, would laugh about her being Auntie to nieces and nephews who helped carry her around. Bernice grew-up in Foggy Bottom and attended schools in Georgetown where she was acclaimed for her wonderful soprano voice: “Ave Maria” being one of her favorites. She was an excellent swimmer and truly loved the pool at Francis School. She was very close to her brother “Phons” who would tease her to the point that she would chase him all around the house on M Street and out the front door, swearing to murder him if she could catch him. She never could catch him! Her older sister Pat would act as disciplinarian and referee. Pat would say: “You two better sit your tails down and stop fighting before I go upside your head. And eat all that damn cabbage!!!"
In junior high, Bernice met the love of her life: Clifton E. Turner Jr. (1926-2014). She thought he was drop dead gorgeous. He wowed her with his charm, was so smooth and debonair. He was more handsome than Cab Calloway and he was hers. He wrote her poetry: “Bernice---When I see you, you make my heart go flip-flop, I love you like a pig loves slop!” Yes, he was quite the catch. They married in June 1946. Shortly after their wedding, Bernice quit her much loved job at the Navy Department to become a full-time homemaker and mother as was expected by most at that time. Bernice and Cliff lived happily ever after, mostly, until his passing June 1, 2014. We miss him chasing Ma around the dining room table trying to get a kiss. We still can see them dancing together at great-niece April’s wedding where they showed everyone that they still had moves.
Bernice was the CEO and micro-manager of Channing Street. It was her way or the highway. Daddy knew it, we knew it too. She was always “put-together”. Make-up and hair had to be just so. She was a meticulous housekeeper and would even iron underwear and sheets up to a week before she passed. The holidays were always celebrated with warmth and love, especially Christmas being a big deal in the Turner household. Bernice loved her “little guys”: her two Persian cats Muffin and Jetty who she swore would talk to her. Bernice and Cliff had three children: Arnita Maria, David Paul, and Clifton E. Turner III (1950-2005); granddaughter Chon Ficklin Davis, grandsons Kiel and Kristen Turner; great-grandson Joshua C. Davis and great-granddaughter Maya A. Davis.
Ma: Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, and Aunt, we will miss you terribly. You left a hole in our hearts that no one else will ever fill. We take solace in the belief that you are reunited with family and old friends and that you are happy, still beautiful, and enjoying your next adventure. We love you and you will always be alive in our hearts.