LINCOLNTON—Keith Turner was a man known for his generosity.
According to his widow, YMCA volunteer Paula Turner, her husband was committed to his exercise routine at the Y. And he was also committed to helping others, especially children.
“He was always involved with kids,” Turner said Saturday, fondly recalling how she and Keith served as counsellors for local United Methodist Youth Fellowship programs and for YMCA day camps. “He just saw a need for helping underprivileged kids and for taking care of them in the summer.”
And it was with that in mind that the afternoon’s annual Krewe festival was held in honour of Keith Turner on the grounds of Woodside near Lincolnton. Packs of party people pooled on to the property, which is adorned by a two-storey brick plantation home built when George Washington was president.
Mrs. Turner said her late husband would have been very happy to see so many people gathered for the event.
“He’s here in spirit,” she said.
Her friend, veteran schoolteacher Linda Harrill Rudisill, was among the event’s organizers. Rudisill explained that Krewe is a Lincoln Family YMCA fundraiser that benefits the same underprivileged children Keith Turner helped in life. The event typically raises some $15,000 for the worthy cause of YMCA summer camp scholarships.
Rudisill added that the late Mr. Turner was one of Krewe’s original organizers, along with friends Larry Dellinger and Harry Costner and Rick Ramseur, all members of the Lincolnton High School class of 1962.
Fun with a German accent
And members of the class of ’62 simultaneously enjoyed their 50-year reunion at the event. Among them was Erich Meyer of Basel, Switzerland. Meyer was a foreign exchange student at LHS, half a century ago.
He was joined by Siegfried “Sigi” and Brigitte Hegewald of northern Germany and their daughter, Sabrina, who in turn took her 5-month-old son, Liam, to his first Krewe experience. A German Polizei veteran, Herr Hegewald was once among the men tasked with guarding the late, great Chancellor Willy Brandt. In 1975, Hegewald followed in his elder brother’s footsteps and immigrated to America.
Meyer said that his class’s reunion was definitely gemütlich.
“This is absolutely great,” he said, “and kind of emotional, too!”
Coming Up Brass performed beach music. The Homeplace Restaurant catered dinner.
So why is it called “Krewe”? Rudisill explained that Turner, Costner, Ramseur and Dellinger wanted to give the festival a name that tied in with Mardi Gras, as Costner hails from Louisiana. Krewes are philanthropic organisations that sponsor and assemble parade floats and sometimes the festive balls that accompany the days of Carnival in New Orléans and Mobile, Ala.
Rudisill summed it all up in a single phrase:
“‘Krewe’ means fun!”