I am an Elk - Meet Becky Turner
Becky Hill Turner grew up on the east end of Washington Ave in Pascagoula, Mississippi. “I was raised in the same bedroom from birth until I got married,” she says emphasizing that her childhood home was “stability” that many do not get to experience. The child of David and Ethel Hill, Becky remembers playing around the dog pound, and the Chicago Bridge and Iron property that was located near Greenwood Island then. She says that more than once she was chased off from the waste-water treatment plant in that area a foreshadowing of her later career in the utility division of Chevron USA Pascagoula.
The youngest of four children, Becky attended Eastlawn Elementary on Ingalls Avenue. The students in her class were very close, and having a reunion in 2021 twenty-two of the original classmates met. She enjoyed running for sport until a kitchen accident with boiling water led to her receiving second and third-degree burns on her abdomen and side. Later, advancing to Colmer Junior High (now Colmer Middle School) she became editor of the school’s yearbook in the ninth grade. She remembers two teachers from Colmer that have had a lasting impact on her - Jean Brown her favorite science teacher, and the well-loved Virginia Milstead who was Turner’s Home Economics Teacher.
In high school, Becky worked for the Jackson-George Regional Library system where she ran the online database. A state grant had been obtained and Becky had been appointed to spend countless hours entering cards into the indexing system for all five branches at the time. At Pascagoula High School, she focused on business-related coursework at the Vo-Tech Campus, graduating in 1984. “I got to leave at noon every day my senior year,” she said.
Throughout school, Becky played softball for Dixie Girls Softball. She would play nine years as a catcher including on a trip to the Dixie Girls World Series in Huntsville, Alabama in the early 1980s. “Florida beat us,” she says. Becky was destined to go to the University of Southern Mississippi on a softball scholarship, but a knee injury prevented that. She wanted to join the United States Air Force, but she struggled with her weight. She has since had gastric bypass and lap band procedures. She is not shy about this fact and confesses that it is a continual work in progress.
After high school, she attended the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, but Turner says she hated college. So, she went to work for Cumbest Realty, first as a receptionist and later becoming a real estate agent. Soon, she would move to Carroll County, Mississippi where she would work for a propane company for three and a half years. But, her mother, Ethel, would eventually ask Becky to return to Pascagoula telling her, “You’re too smart for that. Come test for Chevron.” Becky realized that Carroll County was not home, and she returned to Pascagoula and took her mother’s career advice.