In 2001, designing an explosion-proof steel military complex in Austin for the Pentagon was possibly Jack Rice Turner’s last major project as an architect.
The Korean War veteran and naval officer who was married to former Corpus Christi mayor Betty Turner died on Sunday. He was 88 years old.
“This could be my last hurray,” he said in a previous Caller-Times article. “It’s probably the biggest military project Texas will see.”
The architect, who spent his career in military projects, was housed with Turner Ramirez Architects, 3751 S. Alameda St. He was also president of the Mirador Veterans Club.
He was the main partner at Turner | Ramirez Architects, formerly known as Turner, Ramirez & Associates. The company was founded in Corpus Christi in 1958 and specializes in government institutions. The company previously operated in Laredo for more than 30 years. According to an earlier article in the Caller-Times, the company completed a joint reserve center for the National Guard there in 1991.
His company also took on projects for all three bases throughout his career, including military facilities in Houston, Austin, Kingsville, and Corpus Christi. The company renovated the National Guard armory on Horne Road and designed their new vehicle maintenance facility.
Turner’s partner Philip Ramirez worked with Turner when he was a student at Portland High School. On Facebook, Ramirez posted a post about Turner that included a photo of Turner and said he would never forget his mentor.
“Yesterday I lost my mentor Jack Rice Turner. He was an icon of Texan architecture and his work will be remembered for many years to come,” the article says. “More importantly, I want to remember him as a dear friend, a family man, a patriot, and a person I loved and respected very much.”
The company also built a 50,000 square foot retail project called Esplanade on the North Shore of US Highway 181 and the North Shore Boulevard exit. They directed the 4,788 square foot construction project for Frost Bank at 14201 S. Padre Island Drive, designed the Nueces County courthouse, and helped design the early childhood development center at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.
Frost Bank Branch President John Trice said in a previous article that Jack Rice Turner’s design would provide customers with an experience that lets them know their time is precious.
“I will never be able to repay him for the positive impact he has had on my life. Twenty years ago I took a risk for a then 17-year-old child to continue his professional legacy,” Ramirez said in the Post. “I promise to keep making you proud; I will not do without it, because my determination has never been greater. Our work will continue and you will never be forgotten … because I know that with every step of me you will be the one Path.”