OXFORD - Oxford's annual Fourth of July parade Saturday was showcased in perfect weather and the city of Oxford took the opportunity to honor its Citizen of the Year - even in his absence.
This year, the Oxford City Council chose resident Tom Turner as its special citizen.
"We decided that Mr. Turner was a good candidate and deserved it," said Councilman Frank Davis, who served on a committee with council members Terry Smith and Emma Lou Patterson to nominate the Citizen of the Year.
They decided to honor Turner because of his dedication to the city. Most recently, he spent hours teaching the city superintendent how to use a computer to keep work hours and use certain programs to manage the city work.
And last year, the city opened a new maintenance facility that Turner helped design and helped on the project.
"He's deserving and has been a good citizen since he's lived here," Davis said. "He's helped the city out a lot."
A native of New York, Turner moved to Oxford in 2000.
"It's nice and warm in the winter," he said. "Oxford is a beautiful, small community. We really enjoy it."
Unfortunately, the city had to celebrate the honor without him at this year's parade - he spends a few summer months in New York fishing.
His daughter Theresa Eady and her four children - Michelle, Jessica, Kathryn and Rachel - were on hand to ride on a mule-drawn wagon during the parade in his honor.
"I'm really proud of it," Turner said. "It's really great, and I appreciate the recognition."
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.