1839 – 2000 (February 22)
Robert Arthur Turnbull was born in Manoa, Pennsylvania, of Thomas L. Turnbull and Mary Shaughnessey, on April 18, 1939. He received his early education at Saint Denis Parish School in Havertown, PA, and then Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, PA. After graduation in 1957, he was accepted into the novitiate and professed simple vows on September 10, 1958, and solemn vows three years later. Upon completion of philosophical studies at Villanova University and the reception of the BA degree, he pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, and was ordained to the priesthood on November 6, 1965 at Saint Denis Church, Havertown.
Father Turnbull was first assigned to Austin Preparatory School, Reading, Massachusetts. In 1981, he was transferrred to Saint John Neumann High School, Naples, Florida, where in addition to teaching, he was prior of the community. In 1984, he was assigned to Saint Genevieve Parish, Flourtown, PA. For two years he volunteered in the diocese of Santa Lucia, West Indies, in the administration of a parish. In 1996, in declining health, he was assigned to Saint Augustine Friary, Villanova, and subsequently, to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova.
Father Turnbull was a gifted teacher of physics and statistics. Former students spoke of the quality of preparation for college and the workplace that he afforded them. He also was responsible for developing the athletic program at Austin Prep and oversaw league and state championships in football and hockey.
Father Turnbull died on February 22, 2000, at Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova