Helen Turner is visited by Kelly Oliver, concierge at Brandywine Senior Living at Brandall Estates.

LINWOOD — One of New Jersey’s oldest residents, Helen Turner, has died at 111 years and 123 days old.

Born April 1, 1907, Turner was likely the oldest person living in Atlantic County, if not one of the oldest in the state, according to unofficial sources that keep track of supercentenarians.

According to her obituary, Turner died Thursday at Brandall Estates in Linwood, where she has been living for several years.

A former teacher in Margate, Turner was married to Arthur Lewis Turner for 47 years. She is survived by two children, Arthur Turner and Nancy Turner Mellon, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Turner remained active throughout her later years, even operating a Facebook page dedicated to her longevity. Before she turned 110, she initiated an online campaign to dance with Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show.

When interviewed by The Press of Atlantic City for her 90th birthday in 1997, Turner said at the time, “My 90th birthday is the best birthday I ever had,” as friends continued to celebrate her all month long.

In 2007, when community members celebrated Turner’s 100th birthday, the former Pleasantville resident attributed her longevity to numerous factors, including her upbringing.

“I was born and raised on a farm, “ she told The Press. “I think that maybe had something to do with it, and maybe my parents had good genes. That’s what my doctor says. I never smoked. I would take an occasional drink, but not very often. I eat the things that are good for me. I’m right on the edge of diabetes, so I don’t eat sugar much.”

In 2016, when she turned 109, Turner told a Mainland Current reporter she was still enjoying life: 100 well-wishers came out to celebrate with a two-day party that included a ride in a vintage Ford almost as old as she was.

“I could never have imagined that I would be here so long,” Turner told The Current. “I have fun every single day. That’s the key, you know, enjoying every day, enjoying your friends and family, and just having a lot of fun.”

And on her 110th birthday in 2017, Turner said: “Maybe you want to do one thing, and fate pushes you one way and you do another thing, but in the end, it turns out to be the best thing,” Turner said. “I couldn’t have done anything better than get a teaching degree, teach and come up here. Everything I did seemed to be the right thing to do. I really have had a very, very wonderful life.”

Visitation will be held 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, followed by a service at Christ Episcopal Church, 157 Shore Road, Somers Point. Interment will be private at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Episcopal Church or a children’s charity of your choosing.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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