I am an Elk - Meet Marc Turner
At Moss Point High School, students call him Coach, but to his friends and family he’s more than the coach, mentor and teacher - he’s the husband, father, and friend with a big personality.
Marc Wayne Turner was born in Hattiesburg, MS while his parents, Wayne and Louise were attending the University of Southern Mississippi, where Marc would later attend for his own studies. The family moved from the Hub City to Moss Point, MS before Marc was five. Marc says that his parents closed on the house the day that Elvis Presley died. Louise worked as a librarian at the Moss Point Branch of the Jackson-George Regional Library System, later transferring to Magnolia Junior High School, and still lives in the family home bought that day.
Marc loved baseball and when he attended Moss Point High School was the first freshman to ever play on any of the school’s varsity teams, playing 1st base throughout his high school years. Graduating in 1990, Marc went on to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston campus where his passion for baseball continued. However, injury soon forced him out of baseball. But, that only led to Marc’s start in volunteering.
In 1991, Coach Turner, as the then 19 year old was being called, began volunteering as an assistant coach for the Ed Mayo Junior High School football team. “I wasn’t much older than the kids I was coaching,” Marc remembered at the lodge one recent evening as he sat across a table from Brent Thames. Turner and Thames are close since Marc coached and mentored Brent, later nominating his former student as a member of the Pascagoula Elks Lodge 1120.
Graduating from his parent’s alma mater in 1995, Marc left the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor's degree in K-8 Elementary Education. “I graduated on a Friday and started at Moss Point School District on the following Monday,” Marc said of his first job in education. “I taught 3rd grade for the final three weeks of the school year,” he says, filling an absence created by a teacher going on maternity leave.
Marc quickly moved on to the former Ed Mayo Junior High School where he taught mathematics for 7th through 9th grades. All the while, he continued to coach football and baseball at MPHS. Marc would return once again to USM to obtain his Master of Administration and in 2006 moved to teaching high school at Moss Point where he remains today, teaching Driver’s Education.
Marc has coached championship teams with Tiger Baseball winning two South State Baseball championships. He coached two south state division championship attempts with the Moss Point Tiger Football team. Thinking back to one football playoff game and its heartbreak ending for the Tigers, Marc says, “All we had to do was stop the other team on 4th and 17th and we could have knelt out the remainder of the game. Who knew the kid on the other team was gonna catch a Hail Mary and break nine tackles. 9 tackles. I mean it was 4th and 17!”
L to R - Joe Abston, Stacey Doggett, Ed Neuman, Stephen O'Brien, Marc Turner
Marc’s interests aren’t just baseball and football. He is an avid golfer and loves to play with his fellow Elks at the Pascagoula Country and Hickory Hills Country Clubs.
11 years ago, Dobbs Dennis nominated Marc to become an Elk and once in, Marc’s sense of volunteerism took hold and he began to thrive in the Order. Marc developed a close friendship at the Lodge with Joe Abston, and where you would find one, you would generally find the other.
Tragically, Abston passed during the Covid pandemic, leaving an emptiness in the Lodge and with his close friend. Marc says that he misses Joe “every day” and recently visited the memorial bench placed in Joe’s honor at Machpelah Cemetery.
Marc also met someone special at the Lodge. “I saw her come in the door, and I didn’t know who she was,” says Turner talking about the first time he ever noticed Becky. Little did he know then that Becky Hill would become his wife. The two had mutual friends in the Lodge and the two eventually became close. And well, one thing led to another ultimately ending with Marc proposing to Becky in the Lodge. They were married five years ago in the Lodge under the Star of Fidelity with his friend and fellow Elk, Dobbs officiating the wedding.
Becky and Marc Turner
These days, Marc and Becky are always at the Lodge. Marc has taken over as the Lodge’s official emcee at most Lodge events. He never sits still and is constantly on the move doing something at the Lodge. He is a member of the Kitchen committee, the float chairman and is also the chairman of the annual Pascagoula Elks 1120 Golf Tournament, which is said to be one of the best, if not the best, golf tournament on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Marc's penultimate role at the Lodge is as the 4 Year Trustee on the Board of Directors.
Marc is father to Kyle, Kennedy, Jackson and Reagan. Kyle also made Marc a grandfather 18 months ago with Jaxx. “He’s never stayed overnight at my house yet,” Marc laughed, “That’s about to change.” Marc and Becky attend church at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pascagoula.