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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TURNER, CARRIE STARK

TURNER, CARRIE STARK

TURNER, CARRIE STARK (1 July 1901-14 Oct. 1992), social worker and lecturer, was the first Clevelander to be named Handicapped Citizen of the Year by the U. S. Department of Human Services (1980). She served as a social worker for the CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND (1941-67) and originated the Book Review Club of CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY. Turner was born to Mary L. Perkins and Anderson Stark in Atlanta, GA, where she attended public school. She graduated from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. A fall in 1928 damaged Turner's optic nerve; she was blind by 1930. Turner held positions with the Urban League in Pittsburgh, PA, and the PHILLIS WHEATLEY ASSOCIATION in Cleveland and volunteered for the Cleveland Society for the Blind for 9 years before joining its staff. She continued as part-time consultant after her retirement (1967). The American Association of Workers for the Blind awarded Turner the Distinguished Service Award in 1974; other organizations such as the Urban League, the Phillis Wheatley Association, and the United Appeal also honored her.

Divorced, Turner lived independently in Cleveland. Despite her lack of sight, she travelled widely and pursued photography, publishing some photographs in Ebony magazine and the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Turner died at the MARGARET WAGNER HOME and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.