The People's Tribune

Tom B. Turpin

Tom Benjamin Turpin, 86, died Thursday, July 6. Born and raised in Bowling Green, he was the son of the late Tom Robinson Turpin and Lemma Ogden Turpin.

A child of the 30’s, Tom learned to work hard early in life in the fields around his hometown and carried a strong sense of the value of hard work with him throughout his life. Tom graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1948 and attended a business college before entering service in the US Air Force in 1951.

After completing his service with the Air Force he attended the University of Missouri and graduated in 1954. Upon graduation he embarked on a long, productive career with Armstrong World Industries. His first job was as a sales representative which fit his outgoing, competitive nature very well. While in Los Angeles he met the love of his life, Beverly Joan Unland who became his wife in August, 1959.

Tom and Beverly moved from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Ariz., and then on to Philadelphia and Buffalo as his career in sales management progressed before settling in Charlotte for the long term. Along the way they welcomed sons, Tom (Sonja) and Doug (Nicole) and daughter, Tracey (Kevin) to the family.

While Tom’s life revolved around his family and their many activities, he found time to play fun, but very competitive tennis, into his 80’s and cherished the life-long friends he made at Windyrush Country Club and at Charlotte Indoor Racquet Club. He also had time to lead his Armstrong team to first place in the company rankings for many many years and took immense pride in mentoring new employees and in helping them grow their careers.

After retiring in 1985 and building his retirement home in Weddington, he discovered that he was not ready to play tennis and pull for the Tarheels full time. He began a second career in sales management with a former distributor from his Armstrong days and continued to excel. Upon his second retirement, he and Beverly traveled extensively in Europe, remained active in Matthews United Methodist church, shared his thoughts on politics widely (including numerous letters to the Charlotte Observer) and enjoyed being a grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Martha Ann. In addition to his children, he is survived by his wife Beverly, four grandchildren whom he adored (Zane, Renni, Olivia and Logan), two nieces and six nephews and friends from many walks of life including tennis, work, college and his hometown.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Thursday at Matthews United Methodist Church which is located at 801 S. Trade Street Matthews, N.C. 28105. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be sent to Feed the People Food Pantry at Matthews United Methodist Church.

An online guestbook is available at and provided by Heritage Funeral Home, Weddington Chapel.

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