Dr. Albert J. Turbessi, 84, of Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, N.Y. and formerly of Warren, PA., died Sunday, July 21, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida, surrounded by is family.
Albert, or Al, as friends called him was born June 8, 1935 to Umberto and Caroline Turbessi. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with his parents and two younger brothers, Ernie and Joe Turbessi. He was the first of his family to attend college graduating from Duquesne University in 1958 and becoming a Pharmacist. He subsequently attended the West Virginia School of Medicine graduating in 1965 with his doctorate in medicine. Following the completion of his residency in 1967, he started his medical practice in Warren, PA where he practiced family medicine for 40 years. Dr. Turbessi was a former president of the Warren YMCA and was instrumental in getting the present YMCA built. He was a member of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church. He was also a former President of the Warren County Medical Society, Chief of Medicine at Warren General Hospital, a member of the Conewango Club, and was a Major in the US Army Reserves.
Albert married the love of his life, Barbara Champion, in 1959 to whom he was married for 60 years. They had three children, Lisa Turbessi of Charlotte NC who is married to Paul Caleca, Mark Turbessi of Tavernier, FL who is married to Eileen Turbessi and John Turbessi of Land O’ Lakes, FL who is married to Alicia Turbessi.
Firmly rooting himself in the community, “Dr. T” became known for his compassion and friendliness, taking all the time needed to listen to each patients’ concerns and provide counsel. While his personal methods made chaos of his schedule, he was usually forgiven because he gave everyone the same care and attention.
A man of many talents, Al was probably best known for his big smile, engaging sense of humor and general positive outlook on life. He loved living and raising his family in Warren where his fabled Christmas decorations were renowned as much as his reputation as a doctor, if not more so. Al was an avid golfer and a long time member of the Conewango Valley Country Club where he particularly enjoyed playing on Thursdays with his regular foursome. A patron of the arts, Al became a prolific painter and opera enthusiast and was often seen enjoying both at the Chautauqua Institute in NY. Al loved to travel and did so as much as possible, often with unplanned adventures along the way, always with Barbara at his side. An enthusiastic chef, Al’s tools of choice were the grill and pasta maker, becoming a master of beer can chicken and homemade ravioli and cappelletti his family raved about. No holiday meal was complete without the Turbessi ravioli and cappelletti.
More recently, Albert’s favorite memories were spent with his grandchildren. Albert loved and cherished his seven grandchildren, Katya Caleca, Maia Caleca, Andre Caleca, Robert Turbessi, Zane Turbessi, Daniella Turbessi and John Alberto Turbessi who all affectionately called him Pop-Pop. Guilty of buying them ice cream before dinner, he passed down his penchant for dessert while simultaneously encouraging them to play pranks on their parents and to participate in general merry making. According to his grandchildren, Pop-Pop’s hugs and infectious belly-laugh cured everything, particularly when accompanied by sweets and trips to the dollar store.
Above everything, Al enjoyed life and always saw the glass as more than half full. Through his life and actions, he inspired those around him to reach for their dreams and have faith that things would always work out. In his children and grandchildren Al instilled a passion for travel, love of family, and the value of gathering together (usually around meals) to share stories and lively conversation. He is forever loved and will be greatly missed by all of his family.
Friends may call at the Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., 304 East Street, Warren, PA., on Sunday, July 28, 2019 from 4 to 6 P.M.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at St. Joseph R.C. Church, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, West, Warren, PA. on Monday, July 29, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. with Fr. Richard Tomasone, Pastor, officiating. Interment will be in Chautauqua Cemetery, Chautauqua, N.Y. E-mail condolences may be sent by visiting www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com