Andrews Mortuary & Crematory - Market Street Chapel
Wilmington, NC 28401
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Notice Condolences

REVEREND TOM TURNEY of Wilmington, NC, retired Episcopal minister, passed away peacefully on Sat. Nov. 30, 2013, after hospitalization due to a fall. He was the son of the late Eldorado Franklin Edwards and Sarah Elizabeth Turney. He is survived by his intrepid wife and companion of 69 loving yrs., Rosemary Cody (Romey). Tom was born in Winston-Salem, NC, graduated in 1942 from Sewanee, Univ. of the South, and served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Upon discharge from the Navy, he prepared for the ministry at the Episcopal Theological Seminary (ETS) in Cambridge, MA, while simultaneously pursuing studies in French history at Harvard Univ. He was ordained in 1948. After ministering to several small North Carolina parishes, he served as Canon at the American Cathedral in Paris from 1950-51. That yearlong experience cemented his passion for French culture, his mastery of the language, spoken and written, and his delight in the novels of Georges Simenon. It also enabled him to complete original research on Jansenism in 17th century France. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1961 and a Master of Sacred Theology from ETS that same year. During an uninterrupted career in the ministry, he served 5 yrs. as rector at St. Philip's Church in Durham, NC, 19 years at St. Paul's Church in Chestnut Hill, Phila., and 11 yrs. at Church of the Ascension in Clearwater, FL. In his sermons he used his scholarship, story-telling ability and sense of humor to illuminate the dilemmas facing Christians in the modern world. Church membership grew during his tenures; church building projects were funded; music, pageantry, and Christian education flourished. He also served on the boards of several civic organizations, including the Library Co. of Phila. In 1988, Tom and Romey returned joyfully to the American Cathedral for 2 more yrs. before retiring to Wilmington. In addition to his full time parish work, Tom served for 53 yrs. as a summer chaplain at St. Christopher's by the Sea in Winter Harbor, ME. There he captured the beauty of sea, rocks and pines in deft watercolors, and kept watch on wild birds. His many friends remember Tom as a bruising tennis player, a sympathetic listener, an enthusiast of puns and bon mots and as great company over the dinner table. His mind was broad and his view cosmopolitan throughout his long life. In addition to his wife, he leaves 4 children: Rosemary Sedgwick (Kevin Boyle) of Boxborough, MA, Lacy Bryce of Sioux City, IA, Tom T. Edwards Jr. of San Francisco, CA, and Claire Kearney (Theron) of Old Lyme, CT, 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Sophia Cody of Winston-Salem, NC; 6 loving nieces and nephews and their families. Tom's life will be celebrated in a Memorial Service at 2 P.M. on Fri. Dec. 13, at St. James Church, 25 S. 3rd St., Wilmington. A Reception will follow in the parish hall. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, Tom's family asks that donations be made to Friends of the American Cathedral, c/o Shearman and Sterling LLP, 599 Lexington Ave., NYC, NY 10022 or to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1406 Physicians Dr., Wilmington, NC 28401. Condolences may be sent to the family at:

Published on on Dec. 11, 2013
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