The family is announcing the death of Pastor Wilfred Turnbull, who transitioned from this life on Oct. 23, 2020, at the age of 93.
The viewings are as follows: Thursday, Nov. 12, from noon to 5 p.m. at the New Blyden Memorial Funeral Chapel, which was the former Apostolic Faith Church in Altona, across from Western Cemetery. Another viewing will be conducted from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at Apostolic Faith Church in Smith Bay.
The Celebration of Life service is at 10 a.m. Live streaming will also be available (in real time) at Blyden Memorial Funeral Chapel in Altona and at the Apostolic Faith Church in Road Town, Tortola. Interment will be at Western Cemetery No. 3. Live streaming will be available for the public via Turnbull’s Funeral Home Facebook page.
His mother, Catherine Todman Abbott, his father, Alexander “Massa” Turnbull; and his wife, Nancy P. Wilkins-Turnbull, preceded him in death.
He was survived by his sons, Pastor Brian Turnbull, Wilmo Turnbull and David Turnbull; daughters, Mona Turnbull-Pratt, Noreen Turnbull, Minister Elerine Turnbull-Penn, Pastor Everine Turnbull Hazell and Apostle Evelyn Turnbull; sons-in-law, Julien Penn, Mark Pratt and Apostle Dr. Oral Hazell; daughters-in-law, Minister Karen Turnbull and Minister Judy Turnbull; grandchildren, La Tisha Brown, Darnell (Krystal) Turnbull, Ian (Joselyn) Turnbull, Marcus Pratt, Melanie Turnbull, Nortey Annang, Walter (Meghan) Thomas, Amber (Tobi) Babalola, Mikhail Turnbull, Dimitri Turnbull, Marsalis Pratt, David Biko (Neysa) Turnbull, Elisha Turnbull, Nia Hazell and Shemar Turnbull; great-grandchildren, LaKeilla Jn Baptiste, Ny’Keiria, Jayla, Jaylen, Za’marious, Ja’Karie, Ja’Niya, Jordon, Josiah, Joshua and Marlei Pratt, Aydenn Turnbull, Camrynn Turnbull, Alexander Thomas, DeVonte Turnbull, Iya Turnbull, Kalani and Noelani Thomas, Thaddeus Turnbull and Mosiah Jacobs.
He was survived by his brothers, Noel Leonard and Winston Durant; sisters, Irene Allen, Hilda Smith, Daisy Durant Thomas, Dorothy Durant, Adorothy Turnbull and Naomi Turnbull; brothers-in-law, Walter Thomas, Josephus Wilkins, Neftaly Maldonado, Samuel "Cephus" Lettsome, Tadio Lettsome, Claudius Chalwell and Melvin Johnson; sisters-in-law, Bernice Turnbull, Vivian Wilkins, Lola Farrington, Rita Thompson, Beverly Johnson, Priscilla Maldonado, Dora Lettsome, Sylvia Son, Ina Chalwell, Alma Johnson and Orah Alexander.
He was also survived by a special nephew, Louis Turnbull; an adopted daughter, Frederica Graneau; and other relatives and friend too numerous to mention.
Pastor Wilfred Turnbull was a father, pastor, author, building contractor, entrepreneur and so much more.
He was born on the island of Tortola, BVI, (Green Bank Estate,) on Feb. 22, 1927. He moved to St. Thomas, V. I., in the early 50’s. He married Nancy P. Wilkins and together they had 8 children. His offspring include 15 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, three sons-in-law, two daughters-in-law, one grandson-in-law, four granddaughters-in-law, two brothers and six sisters.
He was affectionately known as Willie to his friends and family. He was also known as the coconut man. Additionally, he was known as Pastor Turnbull to many as he pastored at the Apostolic Faith assembly in Smith Bay for 38 years before his retirement in November 2014.
He was a man who knew how to reinvent himself when a season in his life was coming to an end. As a boy, he farmed and fell in love with planting crops and raising cattle, goats and pigs. In his late teens, he became a mason by trial and error until he got good at it. He built many residential and commercial structures throughout St. Thomas.
While being a building contractor, in the early 70’s he started a water truck company, then a garbage collection company, and they were very successful. In the late 70’s, he began farming in the Estate Dorothea area.
He was working closely with the late Pastor Algernon Blyden in the promulgation of the gospel at the Apostolic Faith Church during the late 50’s and he became a lifelong board member in the 60’s. In 1976, he became an ordained pastor. In the early 80’s, he had a tragic accident that severely crushed his left knee. This accident caused him to be hospitalized for three months in Puerto Rico. Once he came back to St. Thomas, he conducted his own physical therapy at the beach and before long he was back on the road doing home repairs while he worked on building a new home for his wife.
He fully retired from all types of construction in the mid-90’s, then he began another farm in the Smith Bay area. Soon after, he started to be an itinerant seller of green coconuts until he founded Sweet Corner in Crown Bay where he sold coconut water and cane juice. He was one of the first people on St. Thomas to make and sell coconut oil in large quantities. He believed so much in the benefits of coconut oil, he began to host community conferences. The person who was invited to speak at the conferences wrote 20 books on the benefits of coconuts. This sparked a new interest and Turnbull was positive he was going to become an author, which he did, writing “Nature’s Delight,” a recipe book, and “Still Dreaming ... My Journey as a Family-man, Churchman and Businessman.”
Sweet Corner became so successful he had to hire four employees to keep it running smoothly, then Hurricane Irma crushed the structure in 2017, closing the business. Undeterred, a few months later he began to drive around town selling to his old customers until he realized he had a small piece of unused land close to his home. This spot eventually became the new Sweet Corner. He walked to work, Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday until June 2020.
As we celebrate the departure of our dear servant, Pastor Wilfred Turnbull, we appreciate the love and deep respect shared with the family. There will be a special five-hour viewing service from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.
De to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be able to accommodate everyone at the funeral service on Friday, Nov. 13. So, we are encouraging you to attend the Blyden Memorial Funeral Home in Altona where the service will be lived streamed. You will also be able to access the live streaming service on Facebook at Turnbull's Funeral Home. This will allow our extremely large family to be able to socially distance at the service. For more Information, contact 340-998-5812. The mailing address: Turnbull, P.O. Box 304283, St. Thomas, VI 00803. Kindly send tributes to email@example.com.
Professional funeral services are entrusted to Blyden Memorial Funeral Chapel on St. Thomas.