LEPANTO, Ark.– The community of Lepanto, Arkansas is mourning the loss of a woman who touched the lives of almost everyone in the small Poinsett County town.

Kissy Turner is mourning the death of her big sister Tammy Turner, a woman deeply loved by her family and it seems the entire town of Lepanto.

“She was my confidant. She was my secret keeper. She was my helper,” Kissy said. “I did not realize she was loved by so many people, but there’s a lot of people she touched and that’s just who she was,” Kissy said.

Tammy Turner

Turner, who was just 44 years old, died unexpectedly overnight Saturday just days after planning a family reunion and trip to Florida.

“She came over and we were ordering bathing suits cause she’s ready to go on the beach,” Kissy said.

That was the last time Kissy would see her big sister who passed away peacefully in her sleep after chaperoning a high school event.

“She went away just like she always prayed. She said she wanted to go away in her sleep and that’s what she did,” she said.

Tammy Turner’s death has been equally hard on faculty and students at East Poinsett County High School where Turner worked for ten years and was Computer Lab Facilitator.

But Cristi McLaughlin, a close friend and co-worker, said Tammy didn’t hesitate to be stern when necessary.

“Tammy was gonna “snatch” them. She was going to tell them the right and the wrong and she was going to get on them. She was going to correct them if they did something wrong, but she was there biggest advocate,” McLaughlin said. “She loved those kids. She was good with those kids…amazing.”

Now those same students have lost their advocate forever.

“It hit them hard. When times get tough for a student they’d confide in her. Well now the person they confide in is the one they’re mourning over,” said Brian Weathers, Principal at East Poinsett County High School.

Turner had four children.

Because of her popularity in the community, it’s has been decided to hold Ms. Turner’s visitation and funeral service at the East Poinsett County High School gymnasium this Saturday.

Family visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. A public visitation will be held from noon until 1 p.m. followed by Ms. Turner’s funeral service.

Her family and friends are also planning a town wide celebration of her birthday on April 22nd.