Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Jean Turnbull

Born: 2/15/1927

Died: 11/25/2013

Maiden Name: n/a

Honorific: n/a

Wynona Jean Turnbull, 85, passed away on Nov. 25, 2013. She was born to Ruth Ann Park Turnbull and William Perkins Turnbull on Feb. 15, 1927, on the Turnbull Ranch east of Caddo. She graduated from Southeastern State College. After doing her student teaching, she said she would never teach school, and she didn’t. Her first job at 10 years old was delivering the Democrat and Daily Oklahoman to her customers in Blue. Her brother, Wilman “Poncho” Park Turnbull, bought Pete’s Drive In from Pete Freeney of Caddo after World War II. He hired Jean as his carhop. George Bryant bought Pete’s from Poncho and changed the name to George’s. He asked Jean to stay on and work for him. She needed the job to help pay for college, so she stayed. When Mr. Bryant sold George’s, she went to work at Moore’s Meat Packing Plant. Her next employment was with Durant Electronics. She then opened Jean’s Café with her partner, Albert Keck. Her last business was Jean’s Little Store in Blue. At 85 years old, she had folks who recognized her and would shout at her saying, “Hey Jean, bring me a burger and fries.”

At age 6 she was hit by a car and her mother was told she would never walk. She had cancer three times and overcame it twice. She never complained and when asked how she felt, her reply was, “I’m just fine.” She was an extraordinarily strong and independent person with a great sense of humor.

Jean was one-half Choctaw and was very proud of her heritage. She participated in language classes and enjoyed fellowship with folks at the Choctaw Senior Center in Durant. Jean was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Timothy “Buck” Brashears Turnbull and Wilman “Poncho” Park Turnbull. She is survived by her sister, Billie Ruth Turnbull Roberts; nephews, Billy Jack Roberts and Timothy Hames Roberts; and nieces, Rutha Jane Roberts Thomas, Virginia Kay Roberts Green and Jan Elaine Turnbull.