Obituary : Alice E. Turnell
Alice Elizabeth Canning Turnell, 95, of Oak Bluffs, died October 29, 2008 in Windemere. It was fitting that she died on Martha's Vineyard since the Island played an important part of her life. Born in Palmer, she grew up in Fall River, where she graduated from the secretarial-business program of Durfee High School. While summering at her grandparents' cottage in Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs, she met Chester Turnell, whose family owned the Flying Horses (1896-1948). They married in April 1940 and continued to summer with their family at the Turnell cottage in the Campground.
Alice moved to the Vineyard following the death of her husband when she was employed as a bookkeeper at Edgartown Market. She was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, particularly as president of Trinity United Methodist Women. From 1980 to 1992, she worked for the Steamship Authority, retiring at age 79 as supervisor of the Martha's Vineyard Reservation Office. Alice served as Assistant Treasurer of the Martha's Vineyard Camp-meeting Association (MVCMA). At the Grand Illumination festivities of 2000, she lit the ceremonial first lantern in the Tabernacle in honor of her 27 years to MVCMA.
She was predeceased by her husband Chester in 1965. Surviving are her daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Howard Steward of Fresh Meadows, N.Y.; her son and daughter-in-law, Donald and Donna Jeanne Turnell of Englewood, N.J.; grandsons Donald Jr., Alan, and Michael Turnell of the Vineyard, and Scott Steward of New York; five great-grand children; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Alice Turnell's life will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, July 18, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs with a reception immediately following. Donations in Alice's memory can be made to the Tabernacle Fund and the United Methodist Church of Martha's Vineyard.