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Memories & Candles

“Will always remember your Mother and the good times a Riverside Methodist Church.... ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: Johnny Lasley - Gallatin, TN

“Mac, I was so very sorry to learn of Mrs. Turner's passing. She was such a good friend to my parents and our family. My daughters still talk about...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Terry Parnell - Wilder, KY

“This sweet lady taught me how to sew and cook when Keyla would visit. At the time, I was not interested, but of course, did as she asked. She was...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Megan White Wells - Spring Hill, TN


Wanda Key Turner, of Columbia, died peacefully Thursday, April 2, 2015 at Maury Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services will be held Sunday at 3:00 P.M. at First Presbyterian Church, Columbia with Rev. Joe Evans officiating. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 3:00 - 5:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home.

The family suggests memorials in her honor to First Presbyterian Church, 801 South High Street, Columbia, Tennessee 38401. Condolences may be extended online at www.oakesandnichols.com.

Wanda was born on July 31, 1921 in Philadelphia, Mississippi to H.T. "Kiah" Key and Ida Morgan Key. Ida and her best friend, Ouida Burrus, taught Wanda the value of home economics. Ida was a nutritionist for the State of Mississippi and Ouida the state's clothing specialist. Wanda took the lessons of her mentors, and her dear housekeeper Annie, to heart and carried them with her throughout her life.

After graduating from the Mississippi State College for Women, Wanda took a train north to Chicago where she studied the organ at the American Conservatory of Music. She was fond of recounting the story that rather than take the long ride on the "L" to the practice rooms, she drew a set of organ keys on her desk in her apartment and practiced in silence. To her teachers' surprise, she played her pieces with greater mastery than any of her peers.

Wanda was the mother of Otto Key Seward, who lived in Philadelphia and was the father of Keyla Seward Spankovich, Brooke Thomas, and Greg Seward (deceased). Wanda later moved to Columbia, Tennessee, where she accepted a position as the organist of the First Presbyterian Church and later St. Peter's Episcopal Church. There she met and fell in love with Meredith McChesney Turner, whom she married in 1962 and became mother to McChesney "Mac" Turner Ramsay.

Ever a gardener, Wanda was known for her green thumb and her uncanny ability to blend vegetable-bearing flora with beautifully flowering trees and shrubs. Her dedication to the nutritional value of "real" food (i.e., vegetables, fruits, and natural sustenance) gave her a rare strength in the face of the many ailments of old age. Invariably, she was never afraid to let you know how she felt and where she stood.

Wanda was preceded in death by her husband, Meredith; her sister, Merle McKeithen; and her son, Otto Key Seward. She is survived by her daughter, McChesney Turner Ramsay; son-in-law, W.T. "Chip" Ramsay; daughter-in-law, Gloria Seward; grandchildren, Keyla Seward Spankovich, Brooke Seward Thomas, Mills Huffman Ramsay, and McChesney Trybue Ramsay.

Funeral Home
Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors
320 West 7th Street Columbia, TN 38401
Tel. (931) 388-4711
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