The City of Auburn and the Auburn Veterans Committee are pleased to recognize Pete Turnham with the 2009 City of Auburn Distinguished Veteran Award. This award recognizes veterans who have made a contribution to Auburn both through their service in the Armed Forces and to the Auburn community.
Mr. Turnham is a decorated combat veteran of World War II. During the course of his military service, he led an infantry combat unit in France, Germany and Austria. Turnham is the recipient of the Bronze Star with a V for Valor.
Following his service in the military, Turnham returned to Auburn to begin his career in public service. A graduate of Auburn University, Turnham worked as a tireless advocate for education during his 40 years of service in the Alabama House of Representatives - Lee County, House District 79. Turnham's career in the Alabama House is the longest tenure in the history of Alabama. During that time, he served 18 years on the Education Committee and was Vice-Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Among his many accomplishments, Turnham sponsored a bill totaling $116 million in new and improved school buildings. The bill is considered one of the most important pieces of legislation to ever pass in Montgomery.
Turnham is active in numerous church, community and civic activities. He serves as a Baptist Deacon and was a member of the Baptist State Executive Board for six years. A former trustee of Shocco Springs Baptist Assembly, Turnham also served on the Board of Advisors for Judson College and the Board of Trustees for Lyman Ward Military Academy.
Still an advocate of education, Turnham currently serves as Chairman of the Adult Education Advisory Council for Alabama and never turns down an opportunity to speak for the cause of education. A member of the Southern States Energy Board, their office building in Atlanta bears Turnham's name. The Pete Turnham Highway in Chambers County also stands in recognition of Turnham's many contributions to Alabama.
Turnham and his wife, Kay, have four children: Diane, Tim, Ruthmary and Joe; six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.