Juanita Turner Dickerson Caldwell, a Mississippi banker, author, department store manager, and Cub Scout Den Mother, died on April 25. She was 98. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville.
She was born on May 27, 1921 in Itawamba County, Mississippi to Rada Kinard (Turner) and Audie Turner. Her grandfather Steve Turner helped write the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 as a delegate to the convention. She received her early education in the Fulton Public schools and was graduated from the Drew (Miss.) High School in 1938.
She lived in Greenville, Mississippi with her parents and siblings—Harold Turner, Aileen Turner (Goggins), Marcelle Turner (Young), and Harold Turner—from 1939-1948, working for the Commercial National Bank and the Washington County Ration Board. Parents and siblings are all now deceased.
She married James L. Dickerson in 1944 in Greenville, where he was stationed at the U.S. Army air base; they lived in Greenwood until he drowned in a boating accident in 1953; she and her children moved to Hollandale in 1953 and lived there until she moved to Brandon in 2006. In 1969, while living in Hollandale, she married Richard Caldwell; he died in 1986. Also, while living in Hollandale she worked for C.R. Anthony Company and the Bank of Hollandale. She was a member of the Hollandale Baptist Church for 53 years and served as treasurer for a number of those years. She became a member of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Brandon in 2006.
Growing up in Itawamba County, her dream was to become a nurse. She was unable to do that because her older sister was in nursing school and there were not enough family funds to send a second child to nursing school. Instead, she encouraged her daughter Susan to attend nursing school. Susan received a master’s degree in nursing and went on to have a long career teaching nursing at Mississippi College. A second dream was to become a writer as she was a voracious reader. She didn’t publish her first book until 2019, “Miss Juanita’s Delta Cuisine,” but she encouraged her son James to write and he became a journalist and went on to write almost 40 books, one of which will soon be made into a movie.
Miss Juanita is survived by her children Susan Maria Richardson and James L. Dickerson; her grandchildren Jonathan Turner Dickerson, Jennifer McCaskill Clark, and Janet McCaskill Duke; her great grandchildren Emily McCaskill, Zachary Freyre, Ashlyn McLendon, Aiden McLendon, and Susan Leigh Duke; her nieces Janet Young and Martha McKernan; and her nephew Rex Turner, Jr.
The family will announce a Memorial Service at a later date, once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lakeside Presbyterian Church, PO Box 5007, Brandon, MS, 39047. She will be interred at the Greenville Cemetery.
Miss Juanita will be remembered for being a loving mother, grandmother, and wife, a friend to all in need, and as someone who could stop traffic with her sweet singing voice.