Is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Howard Gerald Turnbull of Elgin, Manitoba on August 23, 2018 in the Souris Hospital.
Howard was born in Lauder Manitoba on July 1, 1933 the fifth child of Walter and Jean Turnbull. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Lloyd, his sister Corinne Elliot, as sister Edna at age 7, and baby brother Gilbert, brothers-in-law Arnold Sagman, Melford, George and Jack Maguire, Raymond Elliott, and Bill Robinson and sisters-in-law Gwenda Hughes and Jean Maguire.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years Verbena, daughters Theresa Wood (Shawna and Jamie Sucart), Tracy and Bill Hodgson (Jessica and Billy Marks and Brett and Luanne) and son Edward and Joanne Turnbull (Melissa and Aaron, Jordan and Emily, Dustin and Kaleigh, Michyla and Colbey), sister Dorothy Robinson and special nieces Wendy Toews, Karen Born and Cindy Maguire Cairns, sisters-in-law Eileen Sagman (Audrey (Tom) Sundell), Gladys Turnbull and brother-in-law Glenn (Marion) Maguire.
Howard work at the Brandon Experimental Farm at and early age and that is where he found his true love in the Bee Department there. In 1961 he married Verbena May Maguire of Elgin, Manitoba. They lived at the experimental farm until 1964 when they moved to Elgin. Howard continue to work in Brandon until 1966 when they expanded to a full-time operation getting up to 1300 hives at the height of his enterprise. During his career he was a director of the Manitoba Honey Co-op for a period of time and in 1990 received an award for twenty-five years of continuous deliveries to them. He was a lifetime member of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association and served on their board for several years. He was fundamental in expanding the over wintering program in Manitoba, travelling to Loop City, Nebraska to study their techniques and came home to build one of the first indoor wintering units in Manitoba. He also travelled to Venezuela to study the African Bee situation first hand. He was a founding member of the Brandon Area Beekeepers Association in the 1960s. While living in Elgin he was an active curler, a founding member and later chairman of the Elgin Museum and the Elgin and Area Lions Club, a member of the United Church and gave multiple hours to the Elgin Recycling Depot also serving as a member of the Brandon and Area Recycling Board.
He and Verbena acted as foster parents for about thirty children over the years for the Children’s Aid Society and it was a thrill when one of them contacted them as an adult.
Howard loved old cars and spent many hours in the shop working on one or another trying to perfect the motor or brakes etc. Many trips were made on Sundays in the “Pink Car’ to go for ice cream or supper. He was a member of the Brandon and Area Antique car Club and went on several “road trips” with them. He entered the Pink Car on their spring show and at the Peace gardens for the Bottineau show there.
Above all else Howard loved his family, his grandchildren and his animals and he loves to dance to the point where people would stand and watch him and Verbena dance.
Over the years Howard and Verbena made several trips to California bringing home truckloads of packaged bees for themselves and other beekeepers in the area. They were also lucky enough to travel to Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, England, and Scotland and two cruises to the eastern and southern Caribbean and several of the other States and Canadian provinces. Many times the family threw clothes into a suitcase and took off with a days notice.
A service of farewell was celebrated at the Elgin United Church on September 1 and Howard was laid to rest in the Elgin Cemetery at that time. Charitable donations can be made to the Howard Turnbull Memorial Fund c/o Manitoba Beekeepers Association, Barry Fingler Memorial Fund, 326 Belvidere Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3J 2H3 or through Kowalchuk’s Funeral Home, Souris, Manitoba.
Go in peace, Howard. You have done your job well and made the world a better place for having been here. Love you!