Mason City native Turner, president of national League of Women Voters organization, has died

MASON CITY — Mason City native Doctor Deborah Turner, the president of the national League of Women Voters organization, has died. The organization has announced that Turner died from complications of a pulmonary embolism on Sunday.

Turner was born in Mason City in 1950 and graduated from Mason City High School in 1969. After graduating from medical school at the University of Iowa in 1978, she became the first African-American certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the specialty of gynecologic oncology in 1985.

Turner practiced for 35 years and worked in the private sectors at hospitals in Mason City, Davenport and Des Moines, as well as teaching students and training residents in university programs at the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Turner first joined the League of Women Voters of Metro Des Moines in 2010 and later served as president until 2015. She also served on the League of Women Voters of Iowa board as state vice president from 2011 to 2015, becoming co-president in 2015. Turner was elected president of the national organization in June 2020 and was re-elected to the same position in June 2022.