Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

October 18, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – October 18, 2012

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:08 am


Martha Fuller Turner, a native of Hemphill was recently honored by the American Advertising Federation-Houston with the Trailblazer Award on September 20, 2012.


Martha takes pride in the fact that she grew up in Sabine County.  She is the daughter of the late Thomas Deas and Lucille Fuller and the granddaughter of Tom and Sally Mason Fuller.  She has an entrepreneurial heritage.  Her parents and grandparents were the owners and operators of Fuller’s  Dry Goods and Feed Store.


At the age of 5, Martha began working in the store and wrapped packages for the store’s customers.  She was too small  to reach the counter so she stood on a little stool to wrap the gifts.  When a customer was shopping for overalls or blue jeans, Martha would show then several pairs and then she would say “Don’t you need some socks to go with these?”  Her customers thought she was a clever salesperson and usually bought socks too.


She attended Hemphill schools where she participated in every school activity that was allowed for girls.  She graduated from Hemphill High School in the class of 1958 and was a class favorite.  One of her classmates, Clara Murphy, said this about Martha:  “If there was anyone in my class who could have been president of the United States of America, it would have been Martha Fuller”.


After her graduation she earned her degree in music and education from North Texas State University and returned to East Texas to begin her teaching career.  She taught her first year in San Augustine which was the home of her late husband, Keith Turner.


She later sold World Books, owned a wig shop and built and remodeled homes while teaching at River Oaks Baptist School in Houston.  Her first real estate sale was  a lavender and white trailer house she had owned for one week. “When I bought it, the seller told me we wouldn’t need air conditioning because it had a good cross-breeze.  I made $100.00 when I sold it.


During a speech to her employees she stated that she had practiced the Christian principles she had learned while attending Hemphill’s First Baptist Church during the pastorate of Bro. Clarence Howell.  She shared various stories about her competitive spirit  during her teenage years.  Her faith in God has given her the strength to achieve goals in her life.

She formed the Turner-Owens Properties in 1981 which later became Martha Turner Properties.  She knew the importance of advertising and ran a full-page, full color ad in the Houston Home and Garden Magazine.  The ad pictured a home centered on a full-page. “ People thought that was because we were spot lighting it.  It was actually the only listing we had” Martha said!


In October, 2009, Martha was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. She was elated to be the 7th woman to receive this honor.  Among the recipients of this prestigious award are President George HW Bush, Oveta Culp Hobby, Ross Perot, Ben Taub, Lloyd Bentsen, Sr.,  Roger Staubach and Jesse Jones.


On September 20, 2012, Martha Turner again took the spotlight as the recipient of the Trailblazer Award from the American Advertising Federation-Houston Trailblazer Gala at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  Turner is the first woman to be honored with this award.  The City of Houston honored her with Martha Turner day on 9-20-12.



Martha lives in Houston with her husband, Glenn Bauguss.  Her daughter, Deasa Wexler and husband Stephan and grandson, Turner Hall are also Houston residents.


Martha Turner Properties is ranked as the number one independent real estate company by the Houston Business Journal.  In 2011, the company exceeded expectations with the best year in it’s 31 year history.  The firm closed over 2,000 sales valued at more than 1.3 billion.  Martha attributes the success to four factors:  Houston’s thriving economy, more than 200 sales associates, the best marketing in the business and God’s leadership.


Martha’s not only a Houston icon, she’s also an icon in Hemphill where she has many friends who love her and congratulate her on her career achievements. 


Here’s to lovin’, livin’ and laughin’ which is Martha Turner’s motto for living life on the bright side.


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