When I first starting looking at what knew about my great grandmother Sudie Sarah Hamrick Turner, I thought I didn’t know much about her. But once I started digging into her life and the life of her family I found something different. She appears to have been part of a creative and ambitious group.
Sarah “Sudie” Hamrick was born September 9th, 1891 in North Carolina, daughter of James M Hamrick and Delia P Hopper. She died October 1st, 1978 at the age of 87 in North Carolina and is buried next to her husband James Austin Turner in Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.
If her tombstone is right, she was 15 when she married James, age 21, July 5th, 1907 in Henrietta, Rutherford, North Carolina; the marriage register says she was 20. They were married for 52 years until James’ death on January 22nd, 1959. She never remarried.
Sudie, which is the name I most often see her called, and James moved around a lot. And James appeared to try his hand at many different businesses, all of them family owned.
- They were married in Henrietta, North Carolina in 1907,
- By1910 they were living in Charlotte and James and his brother Ira who was living with the family were both mattress retail merchants working on their own accord, 
- In 1918 we find James and Ira in Rutherford; in 1920 James was working as a “G Merchant” possibly a grocery merchant, again, working on his own accord,
- Back in Charlotte by 1925 the City Directory leaves us with no clue as to what they were doing,
- Then on to Statesville by 1930 where he appears to have owned an undertaking parlor, 
- James was a manager at Penders Store in Charlotte in 1933, by 1941, still in Charlotte, James’ was a salesman for the Turner Trading Company and is brother Ira was a bookkeeper for Turner Trading Company as well.
- The family was in Asheville in 1942 and James was working at Turner Body Works, which was owned by Lonnie W Turner, relationship unknown, and finally settled down in Charlotte. In 1943 still in Asheville, James owned a welding school, his son Howard was a manager there and his daughter-in-law Jennie worked in the office. Howard was also a radio broadcaster at WISE,
- James and Sudie were back in Charlotte by 1951. James owned Turners and his brother Ira was working in real estate.
- When James died in 1959 his usual occupation was Real Estate.
So how did Sudie keep up as her husband bounced from location to location, job to job? I’m guessing she participated in these ventures while she was raising her six children. And what an interesting group of children they were.
- Ruth Louise (1908-1990) who changed her name to Gary Delisser and became an artist painting a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt among others. She married Donald Dick Delisser in New York on May 9th 1941 and they hobnobbed with Hollywood celebrities and lived quite an interesting life.
- James Austin (1910-1998) who married Annie Lineriux Boone on November 12th 1933. He was successful business man and left behind a foundation.
- Mary Sue (1912-1967) who worked as a copy editor before marrying William Franklin Gaines who was a newspaper editor in Greenville, South Carolina.
- William (1917-1917) who was born in Henrietta, NC and died 6 days later.
- Howard Arthur (1919-1992) who married multiple times and worked as radio broadcaster in the 1940’s and went on to be part owner in National Welders Supply Company.
- Michael Conrad (1926-1994) who served in World War II and who according to my uncle was an actor and was the “fun” uncle.
So I wonder what kind of woman Sudie was. Long suffering, putting up with constant moves and changes? Or was she encouraging? More of a muse to her families various activities as they pursued their dreams? I think given the creativity and success of her children and her husband she was more of a muse. And no doubt some of her accomplishments are still hidden in records I have not discovered.
What a fascinating family!
I’m so glad you posted this. Not only is it an interesting story it is a great sample of how to write the story. I’ve been struggling with that and now I think I can incorporate what and how you’ve done it to write the stories I’ve uncovered researching my family. Thank you. ~Diane (Gillette) Phillips
Thanks Diane! Glad to know you enjoyed it. Point me to your blog if you have one, I’d love to read it. 🙂
Pingback: 52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 5 Recap | No Story Too Small
Good Work! Our great, great, great grand parents tombstones were vandalized several years ago. Robert & Mary Payne.
Good Work! Our great, great grand parents tombstones were vandalized several years ago. Robert & Mary Payne.