KINGSPORT, TN- One Kingsport cardiologist and his family have seldom missed a Fun Fest since the first one 35 years ago.
After helping start the cardiology group at Holston Valley Medical Center decades ago, Harry Turner is retiring this year.
To celebrate, Holston Valley and Fun Fest put on a surprise concert in his honor, with his favorite musician John McCutcheon.
“First of all I was totally shocked,” Turner said.
A hard man to surprise, after a year of planning, Turner said he found out about the concert just a few days before.
“I had no idea that that would happen,” Turner said.
“This is one of those things that the Turner family was going to do for this community and for this hospital and when the hospital found out they said ‘let us do that,’” Harry turner’s wife Pat Turner said.
This night was decades in the making.
In the early 80’s the Turners moved to Kingsport, and Turner helped start the cardiology program, with three little kids at home.
“He would eat supper with us, bathe them, read a book to them, get them in bed, and then he would come back to the hospital, and that went on for years and years,” Pat Turner said.
But with all the hours he gave to the hospital, he always saved enough for Fun Fest, and his family.
“It’s something that has real community feel and it’s just an enjoyable thing,” Turner said.
The Turner kids were all under eight years old at the first Fun Fest.
Now those kids have their own lives, spread across the country.
“Kingsport remains absolutely dear to us as a family,” The Turner’s son Jesse Turner said.
The kids still try to come back each summer to a place that carries so many precious memories.
“It’s a big part of who we’ve grown up to be. So even though we’ve kind of scattered to the four winds to an extent, being able to come home and spend time with family but also be able to spend time with our community and a part of the world that means a lot to us,” Jesse Turner said.
Sunday Harry Turner’s family, his hospital, and his Fun Fest celebrated him and his years of hard work, while he got to kick back and soak it all in.
“A little tender heartstrings but what a joy to get to celebrate that way,” Pat Turner said.
“I’m a little bit humbled by it, it’s really special and I’m touched. I know that both fun fest and John McCutcheon have been special things for him and for our family. To be able to come back and celebrate all these things together is awesome,” Jesse Turner said.
“He’s always invested so much of his time and energy in to his work and serving the community, it’s nice to have him receive a little bit of that energy and support and encouragement back,” The Turner’s son Paul Turner said.
“I think that we all try and model our lives a little bit after him and try and serve our communities in the same way that he has served this one. So it’s a lot to live up to and hopefully we can come up to a fraction of it,” The Turner’s daughter Sarah Pietruszka said.
Though Harry Turner’s days as a cardiologist are nearing an end, his days in the heart of Kingsport are far from over.
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