In Memoriam, Norris Terence “Terry” Turnbull: 1934-2019

by | Feb 20, 2019 | Firearm Restoration, Gun Restoration, News, Turnbull History, Turnbull Restoration & Manufacturing Blog | 42 comments

Photo of Norris Terence “Terry” Turnbull, father of Doug Turnbull of Turnbull RestorationNorris Terence “Terry” Turnbull, father of Doug Turnbull of Turnbull Restoration Co., Inc., passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 84 on January 20, 2019 in Rochester, NY.

Born on May 21, 1934 to parents Norris Turnbull and Ellen Lee Tooley in Niagara Falls, Terry grew up on Grand Island, NY. He was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Tonawanda High School. He was on the swimming team, and made the National Honor Society. He attended the University of Rochester (class of 1956), where he was a member of the swimming team and received a BS in Industrial Management.

Terry worked for a short time at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Ford City, PA. He also worked for many years at the Taylor Instrument Company, Rochester, NY. Terry was a life member of the National Rifle Association and the Winchester Arms Collectors Association (#64).

Terry and his wife Joan started Creekside Gun Shop in Holcomb, NY in 1957. Known as the largest firearms retailer in New York State (if not all of the Northeast), Terry ran Creekside until his retirement in 2001.

Photo of Norris Terence “Terry” Turnbull, standing with son Douglas TurnbullOutside of the office, Terry was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed traveling, camping, snorkeling, fishing, hunting, skiing, piloting his seaplane, and photography. He was a founding member of the Holcomb, NY Rotary club and was involved with numerous conservation clubs. He also enjoyed glass blowing, guitar playing, playing euchre, chemistry, and gunsmithing. Terry had a passion for teaching and helping people at the shop when they had problems with their firearms, and was known to go the extra mile to help customers get their firearms ready for deer season.

Perhaps Terry’s greatest legacy in the firearm industry is the contribution he and his son Doug Turnbull made to reviving the lost art of color case hardening and charcoal bluing. Naturally confident, intuitive, and intelligent, Terry’s training in chemistry and love for firearms helped him perfect traditional bone-charcoal metal finishes, allowing Doug’s restoration business to grow and thrive into what it is today.

Photo of Norris Terence “Terry” Turnbull, father of Doug Turnbull of Turnbull Restoration


  1. Tom Fellows

    So Sorry Terry.God Bless

    • Kelly Moore

      Great picture with his plane and fish

    • Bill Addeo

      Losing ones Father is often life changing. It sounds like Terry had a profound effect on Doug’s life while he was alive. For that we should be eternally grateful.. Peace in Christ.

  2. Bill Latta

    Thank the Lord you had a good father to raise you, guide you, discipline you and then to enjoy life with.

  3. Edward H. Gee

    I’m very sorry to hear this news regarding the passing of your father, in all I’ve read, he seems like a terrific person in all respects. Doug, our condolences to you and your family. Your father was the anchor and direction for what has become “ Turnbull Restoration “.

  4. Brantly B.Ludington

    Dear Sara and Doug,

    My deepest condolences to you upon the passing of your father.

    Brantly B. Ludington

  5. Wayne Driskill

    Sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing Doug. My thoughts & prayers are with you & the family.

    Wayne Driskill

  6. Glenn Evans

    Very sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences and deepest sympathy.

  7. Mort Engelbert

    Sincere condolences to the entire family for your loss. I can tell you from experience the grief does not get better, but we do learn to deal with it. Again, so sorry.


  8. Bill Warner

    N.T. “Terry” Turnbull certainly had a diverse set of skills and interests. My condolences to his family.
    Best Regards, Bill in Arizona

  9. james rogers


  10. John Mccool

    Wow, mr. Turnbull was quite the talent that few men accomplish. Prayers to the family for there loss. Sounds like he made this world a better place for those around him.

  11. James R Shuler

    So very sorryto hear of your loss. I enjoyed visiting Creek Side and spending time with Terry when I purchased my firearms from him. My condolences to the family, loved ones , and friends.

  12. John Spall

    Terry was a great guy and ran a fantastic gun shop. Spent many many hours in that store in the 60’s with my Dad swapping guns and stories. I am so sorry for your loss.
    John in Arizona

  13. James Thomas Tyson

    Hello Doug:

    We want to express our condolences at your Father’s passing.

    I knew Terry for years before he retired at Creekside Gun Shop and We purchased a lot of firearms from him. I knew
    you from my Ithaca collecting days. Thank you and your team for the good work you do!

    James T. Tyson

  14. Red kosinski

    RIP Terry so sorry for your loss Doug

  15. Roger Pinckney

    So sorry, Doug!

  16. Paul Tranter

    Very sorry for your loss. He must have been a great father.

  17. Don Pind

    Doug, sorry for you loss.

    Don M. Pind
    Custom shop manager Winchester

  18. Douglas Frank

    A life well lived. God bless.

  19. Cam & Kendra Parry

    Dear Doug & Family –
    So very sorry about the loss of such a wonderful man, but what an amazing and special legacy he has in you and your family. His spirit lives on in each of you as you create new history and new paths, while preserving and teaching the spectacular artistry and history your Dad loved. He instilled that love in you, and because of that…future generations will experience his same joy and appreciation of our western history each time they look at or hold one of your magnificent firearms.
    Sending you big hugs and much love from Oregon –
    Cam & Kendra Parry
    Hooked on Oregon

  20. Mark D Spencer

    Sad for your loss. God’s gain.

    Spencer Tool and Grind llc

  21. Ron Gambill

    Sorry for your loss. He surely instilled character in you which says much about him. Blessings to you and your family.

  22. Steve Harris

    The essence of life is the gift of a day at a time. Quite obviously Terry patched a whole lot of them together into 84 exceptional years. May God bless him and his family…

  23. Michael McKendry

    High Flight – John Gillespie Magee, Jr
    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air…
    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    Tailwinds and Clear Skies Terry

  24. Larry Krause

    I never met your Father and you may not remember me. I did not know he was an Eagle Scout, but I am not surprised considering his life’s accomplishments. I am but 80 years old now and was a Scout Master for a number of those years. I have seen a number of Eagle Scouts Soar to great heights through their lives. Then finally, they soar to the greatest height and perch upon the shoulder of their maker. And there, your Father, Terry Turnbull, will enjoy the company of some of the greatest persons this Great Country has ever produced. May God Bless and comfort you and your family as you celebrate Terry’s life.

  25. Michael Longley

    This country needs more fathers like this!

  26. Bill and Jacky Keith

    Bill and Jacky Keith and Kit Schultze of Trader Keith and Esplanade Travel send their deepest condolences to the Turnbull family on their loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  27. Steve Nottonson

    Looks like Terry led a full life and left a lasting legacy behind.
    All those artistic restored firearms had his mark and will last
    forever in loving hands.

  28. Rick Lee Robinson

    If ever a man lived a full and useful life, it certainly sounds like Mr. Turnbull has!

  29. jon mathews

    i’m so sorry for your loss but so happy that you had such a great role model.

  30. steve shafer

    Wish I could have known him!

  31. Bruce Gjorven

    Our sympathies from North Dakota. We had no idea when we visited with you at the
    SHOT SHOW that your father had passed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  32. Doug tarver

    Sorry for the loss!

  33. Bill Addeo

    Losing ones Father is always life changing. It sounds like Terry had a profound effect on Doug’s life while he was alive. For that we should be eternally grateful. Peace in Christ.

  34. Scott Alexander

    So sorry for your loss Doug and family. I met your dad over 25 years ago when stopping in the store on a business trip. A true gentleman with a giving nature to things he wanted to share. I recently lost my father 4 months ago at 87.
    Celebrate your dad’s life well lived. Much of his knowledge lives through you.
    Scott Alexander and Family.

  35. Walter White

    Having lost a really great dad myself, I know the pain you are feeling. In the future when you wish you could ask him a question, and you will, just remember everything he said and did and you’ll know the answer.

  36. Jeff N

    To Doug and the Turnbull family and friends: my thoughts and prayers are with you, I am so sorry to hear this news.

  37. Darry Hartsock

    I did not know Terry, but I have met and talked to Doug at gun shows. He had to be a major inspiration for Doug to be the artist, businessman, and person he is. God bless to your family!

  38. Rick Nocar

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss of your beloved father. My family’s thoughts and prayers go with you and yours

  39. Dave Monahan

    Such fond memories of Terry will always be remembered. I bought my first skeet gun from him when he had his first “Little Shop” that us kids would ride our bikes to each weekend just to look at guns, and chat with Terry.

    Terry knew that someday us kids would be his full time customers, and always welcomed us to come in and talk.

    Terry set up my wife’s first trap gun years later, and we will never forget is patience in doing so. A great guy for sure.

    Condolences to the entire Turnbull family.

  40. Thomas Hall

    Terry let me fly his plane from the right seat after taking off from Canandaigua Lake. That was the first time flying when i was 14 or 15. That would have been around 1980.
    Because of that flight, I went on to get my pilots license in my early twenties. .
    Terry was friends with my Aunt and her husband. I had lots of fond memories from then.
    Rest in peace Terry.


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