Spc. Estell Lee Turner was born in Perry County and raised in Chavies. He earned his high school diploma at Buckhorn in 1983, and following graduation joined the U.S. Army where he served for six years.
But after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Turner decided to rejoin the military and again serve his country. Just over one year ago, in July of 2008, while serving his country in Afghanistan he was hit by a roadside bomb and later died from the wounds he suffered.
Michael Turner, a resident of Chavies who is himself serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, began the work to name the bridge, located near Noble’s grocery at Grapevine, in honor of Estell Turner.
Michael Turner explained that he wanted the community at Grapevine and Chavies to recognize the sacrifice that was made by one of their own. Once the bridge is renamed and new signs are put up at the site, Turner said he plans on holding a dedication ceremony at Chavies Elementary, where Estell was educated.
Turner, along with a friend of Estell’s, began the process to have the bridge renamed by contacting officials with the transportation Cabinet in Frankfort. And after filling out the required forms, the last step to make the renaming official came Thursday as the Perry County Fiscal Court unanimously voted on a resolution to approve the renaming.
Turner said he was glad that the court approved the resolution, and during the meeting noted that Estell Turner fought and died for the very kind of democracy that was taking place that day.
“The democracy that went on in there is why we serve, and he died for that exact thing,” he said.
Turner said he plans for Estell’s widow, Leah, who is still serving her country on active duty in North Carolina, to be present at the ceremony, which he hopes to take place this fall or early winter.
Estell Turner’s mother, Gloria, still resides in Jackson, where his funeral was held last summer.
Jeff Noble, of the Times-Voice in Jackson, contributed to this report.