Congratulations to our 2021 Turner Maurice Gauntt, Exemplary Citizen Award Winner: Jonah Hensley of Missouri!
SEEKING YOUR MOST OUTSTANDING STUDENT FOR A CASH SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
I am writing to seek your school’s nomination of your most outstanding graduating senior for a new scholarship opportunity.
Nominations are due April 29, 2022:
The Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr. Exemplary Citizen Award
This $4,540 scholarship will be awarded annually by an esteemed panel of judges through Constituting America, the non-profit organization I founded in 2010 and co-president with Cathy Gillespie.
This scholarship is named for my father, Mr. Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr. who was the inspiration in my founding Constituting America. My father was born on December 18, 1934 and departed this life on January 24, 2014.
My father taught me from an early age that we are blessed to live as citizens of the United States of America. He was a West Point graduate, and flew with the Strategic Air Command. He was one of the first to fly the revolutionary B-58 Hustler at Mach 2. My father was the most brave, honest, and resilient man I have ever known. He inspired me to love our country, and be willing to make sacrifices for her. He inspired me to study history, to value lessons learned from both history and great patriots, and to be of service. My father valued our country’s founding principles and our founding fathers’ wisdom. With his exemplary service, he honored our United States Constitution.
Constituting America is looking for a graduating senior whose character mirrors these values, to receive the first ever Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr. Exemplary Citizen Award.
TO NOMINATE: Please read below about Turner Maurice Gauntt Jr.’s life and accomplishments, and in six paragraphs explain how your nominee embodies the characteristics of loyalty, honesty, wisdom, service and sacrifice in the four cornerstone areas of the award: Stellar Academic Record, Athletic Excellence, Community Service, Student Body Leadership. For more information or to help spread the word, click here to download our flyer (2020 version – the 2021 flyer will be available by late January).
Nominations are due April 29, 2022:
Turner Maurice Gauntt Jr, Exemplary Citizen Award, Constituting America
P.O. Box 1988 Colleyville, Texas 76034
Or email to ConstitutingAmerica@yahoo.com
I hope you will take the time to nominate one of your students.
Actress, Founder & Co-President, Constituting America
The four cornerstones of this award mirroring Mr. Gauntt’s high school successes are:
STELLAR ACADEMIC RECORD
Mr. Gauntt was a member of the National Honor Society
Mr. Gauntt was a member of the All-District football and basketball teams, captain of both teams, captain of the Athletic Association, recipient of the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award and considered one of the best quarterbacks in Texas.
Among other things, Mr. Gauntt was a member of the Key Club, and as such participated in countless community service activities.
STUDENT BODY LEADERSHIP
Mr. Gauntt held many student body leadership offices, including President of the Senior Class and was voted most handsome.
TURNER MAURICE GAUNTT, JR. BIOGRAPHY
Mr. Gauntt is from Athens, Texas. After his impressive high school career, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Gauntt was commissioned in the Air Force and began his training at Hondo Air Base. While there, he met Janice Agree, whom he married after six weeks in 1957. Upon completion of training, Mr. Gauntt was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, was selected to pilot the revolutionary, delta-winged B-58 Hustler and was a member of the Mach 2 Club – one of the first to fly at twice the speed of sound. Mr. Gauntt received meritorious medals, awards and commendations including the Top Dog Award for fulfilling the mission of the 43rd Bomb Wing, 1963 Award for Exemplary and Outstanding Performance, serving with honor and distinction in the 98th Bombardment Wing and the same award in 1964 for the 98th Strategic Aerospace Wing, and the Department of the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in 1964.
Following his military career, Mr. Gauntt joined Braniff Airlines, ultimately moving into the Captain’s seat until 1982. Continuing his love of flight, he became an instructor with Higher Power Aviation in Grand Prairie, Texas until 2012. In addition, he flew for ConocoPhillips in Alaska.
Throughout his life, Mr. Gauntt retained the belief that Americans are blessed. He demonstrated this belief through his willingness to sacrifice, something that recipients of this award exemplify. Mr. Gauntt was the first to write a check to Constituting America in 2010, our founding year. Awarded to a new recipient each year, the Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr. Exemplary Citizen Award provides winners with a one-time scholarship payment of $4,540 for the recipient to use towards higher education.
Our Past Winners
More About Mr. Gauntt
Turner Maurice Gauntt, Jr., was born in Dallas, Texas, on December 18, 1934. He departed this life on January 24, 2014, to join his father, Turner Maurice Gauntt, Sr., his mother, Marguerite McKinzie Gauntt, and sister, Lilibeth Gauntt Tidmore who predeceased him.
He spent most of his early life in Athens, Texas, and graduated from Athens High School. While there he excelled both academically and on the sports field. Among his accomplishments were National Honor Society, President of the Key Club, All District Football and Basketball Teams, Captain of both teams, Captain of the Athletic Association. Recipient of the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award, President of the Senior Class and Most Handsome. He was considered one of the best quarterbacks in Texas.
His excellent high school career led to an appointment to The United States Military Academy at West Point. While there he played football under the legendary, Colonel (Coach) Earl Blake, throughout his four years. As a senior, he was chosen Company Commander of I1 Company and was awarded the Trill Prize for Best Company and was applauded for his leadership.
Upon graduation he entered the Airforce. His first training base was Hondo, Texas, and while there he met Janice Agee Gauntt while she was attending Trinity University in San Antonio. They were married on December 22, 1957.
He ultimately chose to fly with the Strategic Air Command, and was one of the first to fly the revolutionary, B-58 Hustler at Mach 2.
Deciding on a career change after eight years in the military, the couple returned to Texas. Turner joined Braniff Airlines, ultimately moving into the Captain’s seat until 1982. Translating his love of flight, he became an instructor with Higher Power Aviation in Grand Prairie Texas until 2012.
In addition, he flew for ConocoPhillips in Alaska, from whom he received an award for his Leadership, Professionalism and Exemplary Contribution in 2012. He received, also, The Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award from the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration in 2006.
Also, he became a Texas Real Estate Broker and opened his first office in Euless, Texas, in 1968, along with wife, Janice. He was the first to purchase a real estate franchise, Red Carpet Realtors. Ultimately, the award winning company moved to Eagle Mountain Lake and became Century 21 Lake Country, which is now owned by son, Tim Gauntt, as well as, a second office in Colleyville.
He is survived by wife, Janice, his son and wife, Tim (Turner M. Gauntt, III) and Roslyn Early Gauntt, daughter and actress, Janine Gauntt Turner, and grandchildren Tiffany Gauntt, Turner M. Gauntt IV, Bobby Gauntt and Juliette Turner.
His family loved and adored him and wish him blue skies and tailwinds forever.
Published in Dallas Morning News on Jan. 28, 2014