Howard Turnbull


Howard “Sturgis” Turnbull, 89, passed away peacefully Sept. 13, 2022, in Ellsworth. Sturgis was born Dec. 28, 1932, in Seal Harbor, the only child of Howard and Emma (Grindle) Turnbull.

He graduated from Gilman High School in 1951. After just two semesters at the University of Maine, Sturgis decided more school was not for him. He worked for the Rockefeller family estates in Seal Harbor, and also helped maintain many miles of carriage roads. In 1952, Sturgis enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and proudly served his country for four years. Sturgis was stationed in Tripoli, Libya, and was able to visit many countries in Europe. He also spent time in Illinois, Oklahoma, and his favorite tour, Alabama. In 1955, while on leave, he met the love of his life, Jean Marie Paine, in Bar Harbor, and on Valentine’s Day, 1959, they were married in Salisbury Cove. In February, they celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Sturgis had an incredible green thumb and owned a successful greenhouse business, Orland Garden Center, for many years. In 1980, he and Jean moved to Bar Harbor and operated the Aunt Elsie lobster boat tour from the Golden Anchor Pier. Sturgis was happiest on a boat, especially sailboats, and he built many different kinds over his lifetime. He was a dealer of Cape Dory Sailboats and also leased boats to people in both Seal Harbor and Bar Harbor for many years.

Sturgis and Jean spent many later years as “snowbirds” in Melbourne, Fla., making many friends and memories along the way.

Sturgis is survived by his wife, Jean; and his daughter, Diana “DiDi” Prestinari, both of Ellsworth. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Katie Prestinari, of Santa Fe, N.M., and Marisa Prestinari of Hampton Falls, N.H. He is also survived by his great-grandson, Zia Stevens Prestinari of Santa Fe, N.M.; and also many cousins in Maine, Massachusetts and PEI, Canada.

Per Sturgis’s wishes, a private family ceremony will be held later this fall.

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