Dr. Samuel Guy Turnipseed, born January 19, 1934, lost his battle with heart and lung disease Friday October 11, 2019. Dr Turnipseed, age 85, passed away at his home in Quimistan, Honduras where he had joyfully served as a missionary with Tranquilidad Foundation since 2011.
Dr. Turnipseed was born in Mobile, Alabama to George and Ruby Turnipseed. He was the eldest of 3 sons. Dr. Turnipseed attended Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, NC where he received a BA degree and more importantly met his future wife, Betsy Ann Campbell of Paw Creek, NC. He continued his education receiving degrees from UNC (Morehead Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, BS), Clemson University (MS) and NC State University (PhD in Entomology). Dr. Turnipseed was employed at Clemson for 45 years where he became a professor of Entomology and enjoyed a long, productive career at Edisto Research Center in Blackville, SC. He served as President of the SC Entomological Society (1970), President of the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America (1980) and was an internationally renowned Entomologist.
Sam and Betsy settled in Williston, SC where they raised their son, Mike, and two daughters, Susan and Leigh, helped establish the First Southern Methodist Church in Williston as well as Jefferson Davis Academy in Blackville. Sam and Betsy were married for 38 years before she lost her battle with cancer in 1992. Sam then married Roxanne Francis in 1994 and became stepfather to her 6-year-old son, Craig Francis.
In 2011, at the tender young age of 77, Sam and Roxanne were called to sell their home in Aiken, SC and purchase land in Quimistan, Honduras to build a home for abandoned, neglected and/or orphaned children. They founded and operated Tranquilidad Foundation, moving there in 2013. Sam became Papa Sam to 9 children in their care. He remained there until his passing. Roxanne continues in God’s work with those precious young ones.
Sam was preceded in death by his beloved first wife, Betsy; his parents; and a brother, David Turnipseed (Cindy). He is survived by his wife Roxanne; Brother Tom Turnipseed (Judy) of Columbia, SC; Son D. Michael Turnipseed (Maria) of Avon, IN; Daughter Susan Richardson (Don) of West Jefferson, NC ; Daughter Leigh Wechter (Pat) of Ravenel, SC; Stepson Craig A .Francis (Casey) of Bozeman, MT; 9 Foster children at Tranquilidad Foundation of Quimistan, Honduras; Grandchildren J. Ryan Turnipseed (Tessa) of Avon, IN; Emily Marriott (Todd) of Boone, NC; Tyler C. Turnipseed (Sara) of Avon, IN; Stephen P. Turnipseed (Karli) of Bowling Green, KY and 9 Great Grandchildren.
A Memorial Service, to be led by Robert Cross and Pastor Jake Edwards, will be held November 2, 2019 at 2pm at Talatha Baptist Church, 361 Talatha Church Rd., Aiken, SC. The family will receive friends after the service at the church on Saturday. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to:
Tranquilidad Foundation, P.O. Box 5406, Aiken, SC 29804.