Russ Turnbull

10/03/1959 - 17/11/2020

Obituary For Russ Turnbull

March 10, 1959 – November 17, 2020

With heavy hearts, we mournfully announce the passing of Russ Turnbull. After a hard-fought battle with ALS, he passed away with family by his side.

Born, raised, and graduated in Lethbridge, he pursued a career with Refrigeration Mechanics following in his father’s footsteps. He loved all sports, but his passion was hockey and hunting.

Russ is survived by his wife Joanne, his stepdaughters Laura (Jordan), Crystal (Carson), Kate (Andrew), his sister Kelley (Dan), his brother Jamie, his nephews Josh and Luke (Kirsten & Phoenix) Makena and Kaija, mother-in-law Jean, brother-in-law Vic, niece and nephew Jessica and Riley and the most loved of all, his grandchildren Makayla, Hailey, Kade (Laura), Cohenn, Avery (Crystal), Kayli, Ainslie, Kaysen, Arya (Kate) and his dog Maggie.

He is predeceased by his dad Pete, his mom Mavis, his father-in-law Hector and his cherished Aunt Jess.

A Celebration of Russ’ Life will be held by invitation on Saturday November 21st, 2020 at 1pm at Bear Creek Funeral Home (11802 99 Avenue in Grande Prairie Alberta). For those unable to attend, a livestream of Russ’ celebration of life will be available on the Bear Creek Funeral Home YouTube Channel (link below).

Memorial Donations may be made in Russ’ memory to Bandaged Paws and use the ATB Cares donate button (Bandaged Paws receives 100% of the donation and ATB will match 15% of every dollar donated). You may also send an e-transfer to

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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Joanne we are so saddened to learn of Russ's passing. Curtis spoke of getting to know Russ when he started working for Honeywell, as Curts office was next door to his. They became great friends and "co-workers".. even though they worked for different companies. Always helping each other at "work" no matter the circumstance. If it wasn't for Russ's and Curtis' daily coffee breaks, Tim Hortons would not have made it. The path from their offices to Tim Hortons was well worn. Our sincere Condolences to you Joanne and your families.
- Curtis and Karen
I am so sorry for your loss Joanne and family. When we first became neighbours 20 years ago, I remember Russ driving into the culdesac in the white Cool Line van he drove. I didn't have a lot of interaction with Russ but I certainly knew how much Joanne loved him and cared for him always. My heart hurts for the family he has left behind. Just know that I'm sure he felt very loved everyday. May he Rest In Peace. With love, Lori Wolsey
- Lori Wolsey
The world says goodbye to another great man! My deepest condolences to you and your family, Joanne. Russ was one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and in spite of the fact that he's left us far too soon I am happy to know that the difficult fight that he fought to the end is finally over for him AND his loved ones. I think the most amazing proof of his indomitable strength and love of life is that he never lost that magnificent twinkle in his eyes. Even when he was unable to voice it you could still sense his constant good will and jovial nature by looking into those eyes! You will be missed, Russ! May you rest in the eternal and blissful peace that you so rightfully deserve.
- Ed Bulger
We are so sorry to hear about Russ. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We will always remember all the fun we had when we were with you guys.
- Tracy Haugseth
Joanne and Family, So sorry to hear of Russ's passing. He was a lovely man with a lovely smile. Take care of yourself Joanne. God bless you all.
- Darlene Upshall
Deepest condolences to you Joanne and family.
- Janice Hogg
So very sorry for your loss.. Sending hugs and love to Joanne and family.
- Annette Evans
Joanne and family; our deepest condolences. Joanne, you and Russ were blessed to have each other, I remember him being your rock on a flight to Victoria when you were a little nervous about flying! He was your rock and you were his. Hugs to you and yours.
- Richard and Dawn

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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