Born in Orange, N.J., on June 19, 1931, he attended local schools before earning his sociology degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., in 1953.
An Army veteran, he served as a private first class at Fort Knox, Ky., in the early 1950s.
Mr. Turnbull was employed during the late 1950s and 1960s as a manager by Peter J. Schweitzer Co. in Lee. In the early 1970s, he joined the Peace Corps and traveled with his family to Ghana, West Africa. After returning to the United States, he devoted himself to international aid and development, pursuing projects like a ferro-cement boat that requires wood obtainable mainly in Africa's poorer regions.
While in Lee, he was active in town government, holding a post on the Board of Health. He also served with the Brody Mountain Ski Patrol during his time in the Berkshires. After his retirement in the 1990s, he moved Maryland, where he spent time sailing and baking specialty breads for the local farmers' markets.
His first wife, the former Sandra Seaman, died in January 1968. A second marriage, to the former Lisa Laramee, whom he married in August 1968, ended in divorce in 1984.
He and his wife, the former Erica Weick, were married April 19, 1985.
Besides his wife, he leaves a brother, Allan Turnbull of Wimbledon, England; a son, Gordon Scott Turnbull of New Mansfield, Ohio; two daughters, Sarah Turnbull Pesina of Mar Vista, Calif., and Amy Louise Turnbull of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and five grandchildren.
FUNERAL NOTICE An open house to celebrate the life of Gordon James Turnbull, who died Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007, will be held Oct. 6 at the Turnbull-Weick home in Oxford, Md. His ashes will be scattered in Chesapeake Bay. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Talbot Hospice Foundation, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, MD 21601. Baker, philosopher, sailor, husband, father and friend, Gordon will be remembered with love by all who knew him. He leaves five grandchildren, West and Nori Pesina, Evvy and Elana Tirosh and Andrew Fernandes; two sons-in-law, Jesse Pesina and Yoel Tirosh; a daughter-in-law, Andrea Fernandes; a former wife, Lisa Laramee; his Brazilian relatives; and many, many friends. The projects he pursued in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Malaysia, Swaziland, Uganda and elsewhere around the world allowed him to enrich lives beyond his family and friends. Gordon was cremated at CURRAN-BROMWELL FUNERAL HOME, PA 308 High Street, Cambridge, Md.