James Markley Turnbow passed away on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at his home in Beeville, Texas, surrounded by people he loved. Jim was born August 2, 1934 in Mount Pleasant, Texas to Wesley Thomas and Willie Mae (Musgrove) Turnbow. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother John Turnbow, his first wife Suzanne (Gignac) and his second wife Mary Jane (Ramirez). He is survived by his wife Diana (Dugat Braly) and her daughters Anita (Marty) English and Alice (Mike) Whitley, his brother Wesley (Sonia) Turnbow, his sons Robert (Sheila) and David (Rachel) Turnbow, his step-son Stephen Gruy and step-daughter Lucy (Marion) Williams, grandchildren Elizabeth (Adam Muhlig) Williams, Gene (Sonya) Williams, Lela (Alberto) Muzquiz, Kate (Ted) Jaceldo, Stephen (Elizabeth) Gruy, Michael Camp, James Camp, and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Jim was blessed to live a long and eventful life. He spent his childhood in the Houston area, graduating from Pasadena High School and attending the University of Houston. As a young man he worked many jobs including with Pan American Airlines in Houston. In 1958 Jim married Sue and they moved to Georgia for several years before returning to Houston and subsequently divorcing in 1967. In Houston Jim went to work for Dan Floeck at the fledgling Hi-Lo Auto Supply. Under Dan’s leadership, Hi-Lo grew into a highly successful chain of auto parts stores expanding throughout Texas and surrounding states and Jim rose to partnership with a group of hard working young men.
In 1968 Jim married Mary Jane and they enjoyed a forty-nine year romance until her passing in 2017. They lived in Houston until Hi-Lo sold their company and Jim and Mary Jane moved to Beeville where he lived until his death. In October 2017 Jim fell in love with and married Diana and shared the last years of his life with her.
Above all, Jim Turnbow treasured family and his many friends throughout the country. He had a passion for golf, hunting, flying his airplane, feeding his cows and entertaining friends and family. He also loved to travel, particularly to New York City and his favorite restaurant La Grenouille, or to play golf with friends on new and challenging golf courses. And he always enjoyed parties where he could wear a tuxedo. He lived a blessed life.
The family particularly wishes to thank our extended family, Joe Cano, Irma Gonzalez, Lily Garcia, Laly Contreras, and Sylvia Cano, who have done so very much for Jim and for us all over the last few years.
Due to the dangers and restrictions in response to the coronavirus there are no immediate plans for a funeral service beyond a private burial for the immediate family. Hopefully in the future a memorial service and celebration of Jim’s life can be held with friends and family.
If you wish to honor Jim’s memory we suggest you give a red rose or share a champagne toast with someone you love, or make a donation to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Beeville or a charitable organization of your choice.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.