TURNER, Roosevelt W.

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

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Last Name
 
TURNER
Given Names
 
Roosevelt W.
AKA's
 
Better known as
 
Date of Birth
 
8/4/1926
Age at Death
 
52
Place of Birth
 
Wewoka, Oklahoma
Race
 
Black
Gender
 
Male
Religion
 
Family Tree
  Lois Breidenbach Family Tree
Birth Mother
 
Birth Father
 
Siblings
 
Partner
 
Lois "Rocky" Breidenbach
Children
 
Non-Temple Relatives
 
Body Identification Number
 
Burial Location
 
Source of Death Information
 
House Foreign Affairs Committee report; FBI document 89-4286-1302 (prepared 12/78)
Entry into Guyana
 
1/17/1978
Residence (US)
 
Long Beach, California 90813
Residence (JT)
 
Cottage 26
Occupation outside __Peoples Temple
 
Construction
Occupation inside __Peoples Temple
 
Occupation at __Jonestown
 
Government Income
 
Discrepancies
 
Remembrances
 
“In the late 1970s I was the foreman of a small remodeling concern in San Francisco called The Preservation Group. Roosevelt Turner worked as part of this group for a short period. He wound up quitting to help build Jonestown, which is where he died. He was a good carpenter and a good worker, but somewhat duplicitous just before he left. May God have mercy on his soul. This was written on Nov. the 13th, 2008. ” - Craig Reubens

“I remember Mr. Turner as a very hardworking, caring and respectful man. He and my mother had become friends about a year or two prior to his departure for Jonestown. Mr. Turner appeared to be your normal "GOD" fearing United States citizen. He sold or gave away all his worldly possessions to partake in this, so he thought to be, new wonderful life in Guyana. Mr. Turner truly trusted and believed in Jim Jones and so loved the Lord. He felt it his duty to try and convince my mother to go with him, along with her two children; me and my younger sister. I was about 12 or 13, my sister about six. Just a couple months before he left the United States, we were at a Jack-in the- Box drive through awaiting our food and "Turner" as my mom called him said, "You really should come and go and bring the kids, you won't have to worry about anything, it will be like paradise". My mom replied "no way, you don't know what may happen to you when you get over there. How can you trust this man". He told my mom Jim Jones was the "Saviour". Thank you for this site, so informative. This is the first time I have been able to find Mr. Turner's name listed. I did a book report on Jonestown in High School, I got an "A". May we all continue to pray. ” - Rachel Davis-Berry

“Roosevelt Turner was a dedicated member, a tall, hard-working skilled tradesman. He moved up to San Francisco before 1976, worked as a carpenter for a local contractor and helped in the Temple's foot locker production and crating operations through 1977, up until his departure to Guyana. His employer, Craig Reubens, spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Memorial Plaques at Evergreen Cemetery in 2011. Roosevelt traveled to Guyana with Edith Roller and several others, but was assigned upon his arrival to work on the boat. His name does not appear on the Jobs List, but he is mentioned in Edith Roller's journals for May 1978, volunteering to cut and haul wood for the soap factory to burn for ashes (a main ingredient), and probably continued his carpentry work in Jonestown as well. Here is another photograph of Roosevelt: Roosevelt was a good-looking man, and he and Lois "Rocky" Breidenbach, 50, gravitated to each other while they were still in San Francisco. They must have partnered in Jonestown, for Rocky is shown as "aka Rocky Turner" under her name on the Jobs List. I hope he found joy with her, and the work he did. Rest in peace, Roosevelt. You sure deserve it, after the betrayal of all your faith, trust and hope, and your murder. You'll always stand tall in my memory, another good man gone too soon. You are missed and remembered.” - Kathryn (Tropp) Barbour