Welcome to the
memorial page for
Joseph E. Turpin
May 31, 1936
~ March 28, 2022
Joseph “Joe” E. Turpin, 85, a lifelong resident of Long Branch, New Jersey died on Monday, March 28, 2022 at Complete Care at Monmouth in Long Branch. Joe was born on May 31, 1936 in Long Branch to Ernest Lee, Sr. and Edna Gwathney Turpin.
Joe attended Long Branch Public Schools. He enlisted in the Army and served as a Specialist Third Class (SP3). After serving his country, Joe was honorably discharged in 1957. The leadership skills he acquired in the Army, strengthened his career as a community activist. Joe successfully advocated for the Long Branch community he loved. He was involved in numerous community initiatives including:
- Joe promoted a program in conjunction with the City of Asbury Park to acquire federal funding for summer jobs for community youth.
- Joe supported Avery Grant and Jesse Samuels’ plans to repair and reopen the original Bucky James Community Center. In addition, he was one of the sponsors of community events such as the “Back to School” picnic held at the Community Center.
- The petition with more than 2,000 signatures Joe obtained from canvassing throughout the community, proved instrumental in a Long Branch public school being named for a retired African-American Principal, Audrey W. Clark.
- Joe participated in organizing the march from Ocean Avenue to Second Avenue to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday in recognition of the end of slavery in the United States.
- Joe also threw his hat in the political arena, working as a volunteer campaign worker for local campaigns for Mayor, City Council, Board of Education, Freeholder, and State congressional races.
One of Joe’s most important and impactful community projects resulted from his work as Secretary/Site Liaison for The Concerned Citizens Coalition of Long Branch. The Coalition of volunteers from the Long Branch community was formed in June 2002, and worked with environmental justice partners including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to remediate the soil of the 11.2 acre facility of the former Long Branch Manufactured Gas Plant. The Coalition gained state, national and even international recognition for its efforts on behalf of the community. Joe contributed to the lawsuit for 292 persons who were sickened by the odors and contamination from the site.
Joe worked tirelessly for the people of Long Branch. He was very proud of his triumph over addiction with the help of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholic Anonymous (NA/AA), and he used his experience, strength and hope to empower the recovery efforts of those he sponsored. He will be remembered for being a thoughtful Sponsor.
He loved to eat at his favorite restaurant “Amy’s” in Ursula Plaza. You would often see him sitting outside on the bench after his meal.
He is predeceased by his parents, Ernest Lee, Sr. and Edna Gwathney Turpin; his siblings, Ernest Lee “Turk” Turpin Jr., Harold Turpin, Edna Agnes Wall, Geraldine Turpin, and Gwendolyn Turpin; and his granddaughter, Skylar Fowler.
Surviving are his three sons, Mark Turpin and his wife Rachel, Michael Turpin and his wife Berheata, Milton Turpin, and daughters Rachel McConnell and DiJanelle Fowler; his beloved cousin, Ruthie Gwathney, sisters-in-law Marcia Turpin and Maria Turpin; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Whether you called him “Pop,” “Daddy,” “Pop Pop,” “Uncle Joe,” or “Joe T,” Joseph “Joe” E. Turpin will be truly missed!
The family would like to thank everyone who knew and loved Joe for their support.