Turner was the daughter of Johnny and Leitha Williams. She grew up in Birmingham and graduated from Parker High School and the Booker T. Washington Business College. She joined the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and participated in voter education drives, meeting and marches, for which she was arrested. She served as secretary of the Birmingham branch of the NAACP when it was rechartered in 1965.
Turner began her career with A. G. Gaston Enterprises, and later worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as an administrator. In retirement she worked as a counselor for the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District and in various programs for the homeless.
She was appointed to several city boards, including the Birmingham Arts Commission, the board of directors of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Birmingham Image Committee, the Birmingham Design Review Committee, and the Jefferson, St Clair, Blount County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Commission. She also served as a deputy registrar and as a member of the Alabama Election Law Commission.
Turner was also a member of the Magic City Chapter of the Links Inc., a captain of the Jones Valley Bon Ami Sport Unit of the Elks, and a member of Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church and the National Forum of Black Public Administrators. She was given the SCLC Foundation's "Power Belle Legacy Award" and appeared on the NAACP's 2013 calendar.
Turner had five children and four stepchildren by her second husband, James Turner.