Louise Turpel passed away in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on March 13 at the age of 99. She was independent, still living alone, still driving, with an active social life. This was a life well-lived.
Louise was born in Lynn, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston) where she grew up and met the love of her life, Joseph, at a school assembly at the age of 13. In 1945 they married, while Joseph was serving in the US Navy during World War II. This began her career as a “Navy Wife.”
For the next 30 years, her husband Joseph’s Naval career would have the fast-growing family moving often, usually every 18-24 months, and included stations in Hawaii, Southern California, the Midwest and many others. During this time, Louise developed strong friendships with other military families that would last throughout her life.
After Joseph retired from the Navy in 1971, he began his second career at Litton Industries (Ingalls Shipyard) in Mississippi. He promised Louise they would only be down South for one year. 50+ years later, Ocean Springs, MS became the place she called home the longest. The friendships she developed on the gulf coast became her extended family.
Louise was always involved in the community. She served as a Red Cross Volunteer for over 40 years at Keesler AFB Hospital, where she was recognized multiple times for her extraordinary dedication. A devout Catholic, she attended mass daily, as well as participated regularly in her Parish’s bible studies and social events. She was also a member of the Biloxi Yacht Club and active at her children’s schools.
Louise was full of life and known for her humor, generosity and kindness— and her distinctive New England accent which, like her, never faded.
Louise is survived by two daughters: Patricia Turpel of Thousand Oaks, CA; Kathleen Turpel of New Orleans, LA and her son, Peter Turpel, also of California; as well as daughters-in-law: Diane (Joseph Jr.) Turpel and Fran (Michael) Turpel, 14 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and dozens of family & friends all over the world.
She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 50 years, CDR. Joseph F. Turpel; her sons, Joseph (Diane) F. Turpel, Jr; Michael (Fran) D. Turpel; grandchildren, Michael “Mickey” Turpel, Jr; and Patrick Heitert; her parents, Albert and Clara Smith; brothers, Albert and Clayton Smith; and one sister, Natalie Thistle.
Funeral Services will be held at the Keesler AFB Triangle Chapel on Saturday, March 26 at 11 am, with visitation beginning at 10:00 am. Because the service is being held on a military base – to attend you must RSVP to 1 (228) 918-9778 with your name and your driver’s license number. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Louise Turpel.