Updated April 20, 1:15 p.m.–
Citrus Heights Councilman Mel Turner, known for his warm leadership and deep voice, has died in office after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year.
Following Turner’s passing on the morning of April 20, a ceremony was held at noon on Thursday in honor of the councilman, attended by more than 100 community members, staff, and city leaders.
“Our city mourns the loss of Councilmember Mel Turner, a dedicated public servant throughout his life,” said Mayor Jeff Slowey in an April 20 news release.
“Mel has been a tremendous leader in this community and deserves much credit for helping improve the quality of life in Citrus Heights. He will be deeply missed by his city colleagues, our city’s residents, business owners, key stakeholders, and staff. On behalf of the City Council and the entire city team, I want to extend our deepest sympathy to Mel’s family and friends. Mel loved serving the people of this community. He was an actively engaged City Council member and served the people of Citrus Heights with great pride,” the mayor said.
Turner, 67, first joined the council in 2010 and served a one-year term as the city’s mayor in 2014. He was reelected to a four-year term on the council in 2014.
City leaders had been aware of the councilman’s ailing health over the past year and Turner had been noticeably absent from recent council meetings, with his last known public appearance being made at the city’s 20th anniversary kick-off meeting in January.
He leaves behind his wife, Connie, two adult children, and five grandchildren.
Prior to being elected to the city council, Turner was appointed to the Citrus Heights planning commission in January 2009. He is credited for his role as a founding member of the Citrus Heights Police Activities League, and a focus on mentoring youth and fostering leadership.
Turner was also a member of the Citrus Heights Rotary Club and served on the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission.
According to a bio from the city, Turner held a master’s degree in human resources and organization development from the University of San Francisco and retired after 24 years in various positions with the State of California. He worked in the department of corrections, justice department, and department of personnel administration in senior management positions.
He also worked as a probation officer with San Mateo County and “received national recognition in the field of crime prevention as the Director of C.A.P.T.U.R.E., a countywide community-based crime prevention program in San Mateo County,” the city’s bio said.
Service arrangements have yet to be announced.