JA Snow Funeral Home


Frederick John Turnbull

20 February, 192529 March, 2021
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Frederick JohnTurnbull, age 96, of Bedford, Nova Scotia, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2021 at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Home in Halifax, in the loving presence of his children, Robert and Beth, and his partner Zondra Hubley.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, on February 20, 1925, the son of George and Myrtle Turnbull, Fred excelled at an early age in sports (hockey, football, basketball) and in academics at Montreal High. Before entering McGill University, he heard the call of duty and adventure, joining the Royal Canadian Navy at the age of 17 to serve along with so many of his compatriots in the war. Volunteering for the newly-formed Combined Operations, Fred fought as a gunner and bowman on landing craft in numerous invasions – including D-day, where his craft was the only one in the flotilla not to be destroyed before landing. Fred received numerous medals for his bravery, including the French Legion of Honour for his role in the liberation of France.

Returning to Montreal after the war, Fred completed his studies at McGill and met his future bride, Grace, at a YMCA dance. They eventually married and he settled into a career with Montreal Trust, moving up through postings in cities across Canada as trust officer, branch and regional manager and eventually Vice-President. Wherever he settled with his family, Fred spread his humour, dedication and devotion to the community: coaching minor hockey and raising money through volunteer organizations like Lions Club and Kiwanas.

After retiring in 1990, Fred and Grace moved to Ottawa, where he relished the political and historical atmosphere. He publishing a book –“Invasion Diaries” - in 2007 through Veterans Publications, based on a diary that he surreptitiously kept during the war. Available in libraries and bookstores, Invasion Diaries is regarded as a unique first hand account by a young sailor of some of the crucial amphibious invasions in history.

After moving to Halifax in 2011 and losing his wife of 64 years, Grace, to cancer in 2013, Fred was lucky enough to meet and become friends with his loving partner until the end: Zondra Hubley.

Fred is survived by his partner: Zondra Hubley, Bedford; daughter: Beth Follett (George), Halifax; son: Robert Turnbull (Suzanne), Ottawa; grandchildren: Heather, David, Michael, Geoffrey, Michelle; and great-Grandchildren: Eva; Alex; Riley; Connor; Cole; Raina.

He was predeceased by his wife, Grace.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private memorial service will be held by invitation only at JA Snow Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 6 at 3:00 p.m. The service will be livestreamed for anyone wishing to view from home. The link will be available at In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association at or to the Victorian order of Nurses (VON) at




Frederick John Turnbull

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Patricia McCleave

13 April 2021

Dear Zondra, Robert & Beth.

Fred & Zondra were my 4th floor neighbours on Waterfront Drive, in Bedford. They were both generous, friendly and their door was open to all. Beth, I met you many times when you visited your father. Your whole family will remember Fred for generations thanks to his bravery and his story telling.
I was honoured to receive a copy of Fred's book, Invasion Diaries.
I only knew Fred, in the last years of his life but long enough to know he was one of a kind.
Best of wishes.
Pat McCleave

Stephen Knowles

8 April 2021

I first met Fred and his Halifax family on Remembrance Day 2012 at Parkstone Clayton Park where my late father LCDR Murray Knowles RCN(R) Retired was also a resident. Both played leading roles in the ceremony that day. I am privileged to have an inscribed copy of "Invasion Diaries." Fred Turnbull was a real gentleman who served his country and the cause of freedom in war and in peace with others like him built the Canada which we are so fortunate to have inherited. My sincere condolences to his family. His memory will live on.

Marilyn (Desgroseilliers) Norton

6 April 2021

Beth and Robert
I would like to send my sincere condolence and sympathy in the loss of your Dad. My Mother was Dorthy Turnbull Desgroseilliers who was the youngest sister of Fred’s Grandfather Fred so I am first cousin of Fred’s father George. I so wish that I knew that Freddie was in Halifax as I would loved to have talked to him. I was just six years old when he came to visit us in Montreal on his way overseas- I recognized the naval photo in the obit. Please feel free to get in touch if you wish.
You can reach me at 902 479 0285
I plan to watch the service today
Marilyn Norton

Geoff Turnbull

6 April 2021

Thanks for coming to all my hockey and football games in Ottawa, Grampy!

Beste Alpargun

5 April 2021

Dear Beth and George, and the whole Family,

Please accept our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Beste Alpargun & Franc Weissenhorn


4 April 2021

To all Fred's loved ones, my sincerest sympathies. As a volunteer at the Vets hospital I had the privilege of being able to have a half hour chat with Fred a couple weeks ago, and he presented me with his Invasion Dairies book. What a hero!! I can't imagine what he went through in the war years. He must have some good and some horrible memories. We were supposed to have another chat next week as I wished to discuss his book , I guess that have to wait until we meet in Fiddlers Green. God bless Fred, and thank you so much for your service.

Jim Cummings C1ER Ret'd

Avon Rizok

4 April 2021

Dear Zondra and Family..
So very sorry to hear of Fred’s passing..I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Fred but any time I phoned Zondra and Fred answered the phone,he was always such a gentleman and we would have a little chat..Always a pleasant man to speak with..Thank You Fred for your services..My You Rest In Peace Fred..🕊
.Zondra you and Fred’s family are in my thoughts and prayers at this time..God Bless.♥️🙏🏻
Love Avon and Family..

Sharon and Charlie Waxman Campbell

4 April 2021

To the Family of Fred Turnbull
Charlie and I want to give you our sincerest condolences on the loss of Fred.

We live in the building where Fred and Zondra lived before Fred went to Camp Hill. Fred was a wonderful man and we enjoyed listening to his experiences. He also had a zest for life and we were always happy to see him.

Jack Nielsen

3 April 2021

Fred was my Manager at Montreal Trust, Saint John from 1970-1972. I connected with him after Grace's passing and received a call from him later inviting me to his 90th birthday which unfortunately I could not attend. Too bad as it was held on a RCN ship that my Dad served on the HMCS Sackville. My sincere sympathy to the entire Turnbull Family. Jack

Nancy Cavill

3 April 2021

Fred was a ray of sunshine in our Stittsville community, and I consider it a privilege and an honour to have had Fred as a friend and neighbour. God bless you Fred and may you rest in peace knowing how much you contributed to our freedom and society as a whole. My sincere condolences to your family and loved ones.