In Memoriam: Terence “Terry” Turnbull

posted on May 6, 2019

Norris Terence “Terry” Turnbull, father of Doug Turnbull of Turnbull Restoration Co., Inc., passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 84 on Jan. 20, 2019, in Rochester, N.Y.

Born on May 21, 1934, in Niagara Falls, Turnbull grew up on Grand Island, N.Y., became an Eagle Scout and graduated from Tonawanda High School, where he was on the swimming team and made the National Honor Society. He attended the University of Rochester (class of 1956), where he enjoyed collegiate swimming and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Statistics.

Turnbull worked for a short time at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. in Ford City, Pa. He also worked for many years at the Taylor Instrument Co. in Rochester, N.Y. An NRA Life member and member of the Winchester Arms Collectors Ass’n (#64), Turnbull and his wife Joan started Creekside Gun Shop in Holcomb, N.Y., in 1957. It became the largest firearm retailer in New York state—Turnbull managed Creekside until his retirement in 2001.

Outside the office, Turnbull was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed traveling, camping, snorkeling, fishing, hunting, skiing, piloting his seaplane and photography. He was a founding member of the Holcomb, N.Y., Rotary Club and was involved with numerous conservation clubs. He also enjoyed glassblowing, guitar playing, playing euchre, chemistry and gunsmithing. Turnbull had a passion for teaching and helping people at Creekside when they had problems with their firearms and was always ready to go the extra mile to help customers get their firearms ready for deer season.

Perhaps Turnbull’s greatest legacy in the firearm industry is the contribution he and his son, Doug Turnbull, made to reviving the lost art of color case hardening and charcoal bluing. Naturally confident, intuitive and intelligent, Turnbull’s training in chemistry and passion for firearms helped him perfect the traditional bone-charcoal metal finishes, allowing his son’s restoration business to grow and thrive into what it is today.

Additional Reading:
Turnbull Adds New Winchester 1892 Lever-Action Rifles  
Henry Turnbull Lever-Action Rifle Announced  
A Milestone in Wood and Steel  


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