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Sheila Renee Turnipseed
On Thursday, June 18, 1959, a beautiful baby girl was born in Los Angeles, California. Sheila Renee was the eldest of five children, three sisters and one brother. Sheila Renee was raised in Pomona, California in the most loving, fulfilled, and caring household with her parents Charles and Myrtle Smith, where the family bond was inseparable.
Everyone that had ever met Sheila knew that her affectionate smile, joyous spirit, personal attentiveness to “You”, and a bottomless forgiving spirit which was truly an evident indication of the love she had for people and the attributes of Christ.
As a baby, Sheila was baptized and dedicated at Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, CA, by Bishop E. B. Stewart, and then grew-up at New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ, Pomona, CA, under the leadership of Bishop Raymond Watts, where she made her decision to accept the Lord as her personal Savior.
Sheila was very active in church and served as a Sunday School teacher for many years, sang in the youth choir (soprano), the youth choir secretary, and she performed in the church plays. She was proud and exceptionally excited to be a member at age 16 years old of one of the largest choirs, California Jurisdiction One State Youth Choir, which had always been one of her fondest memories and had met and kept lifelong friendships.
While serving in ministry and attending Life Church of God in Christ, Riverside, CA, under the leadership of Bishop Ron M. Gibson, Sheila worked closely with hundreds of youths, volunteering her time as a chaperone hosting events at large venues and opening up her and Rudy’s home. The youth loved her energy and majority of them called her “Second Mother” or “Mama Sheila”. Anything Sheila was found doing, it was joy. Such as her serving at her last church Abundant Living, Rancho Cucamonga as a Greeter and with her warm embrace and welcoming spirit, it was a delight to see her smiling face first.
Sheila’s early years of education where she attended was: Allison Elementary, Emerson Junior High and Pomona Senior High School. Sheila was active in High School where she was a part of the Tall Flags Marching Band, and where she and her sisters we known as “The Smith Girls” or “Charlie’s Angels.” In addition to Sheila furthering her education, she attended Mt. San Antonio College where she studied Early Childhood Development and received her teaching credentials.
Sheila had various positions with helping children navigate through their early years of development. She worked for Corona Norco Unified School Districts as a STEPS (Succeeding Together to Encourage Pro-Social Skills) Educator, which was a program formulated to help students adjust socially to school. In the program, she taught empathy, impulse control, and emotion/anger management to elementary school children from Transitional Kindergarten to six grade. Sheila enjoyed singing with the young children, enthusiastically reading stories, and creating fun and creative lessons. She absolutely loved her job, coworkers, the children she worked with, and did it for nearly 18 years before she retired in 2022.
Where her world changed for the greater was in June of 1978 at the Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ, where she met her Soul-Mate and the Love of her Life, Rudolph (Rudy) James Turnipseed Junior. Rudy has always been a devoted, faithful, loving, protector and great provider. The two dated for 3 years, and they were happily married on March 21, 1981. The newlyweds moved to Long Beach, California where they attended Gospel Memorial Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop Joe Ealy. To this union, Rudy and Sheila were blessed to become proud parents to Rudolph James III and Chantel Ya’Vonne.
Sheila loved the finer things in life, and loved celebrations, attending events and fine dining restaurants. Most of all Rudy and Sheila loved traveling, especially out of the country. As a couple, they took multiple cruises to Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Jamaica just to name a few. They journeyed through the Dominican Republic, Cancun and Hawaii in addition, during their retirement, they had the pleasure to visit Rome, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Sheila’s life dream was to see the Eiffel Tower and that dream came true in 2022. One thing about “MeMa”, affectionately called by her grandchildren, they too, also known as, the “Lil Turnips”, had the experience of seeing the world.
Sheila was a loving and selfless person. She gave from the heart and took delight in it. She opened her doors to multiple people as a house for them to reside while they were setting grounded back on their feet; she helped people constantly with financial hardships, and always offered to pay for wedding cakes. Sheila loved dancing, reading, singing and making lasting friendships wherever she went. Her infectious smile and bubbly personality made it easy for people to instantly feel a sense of home and comfort with her.
On Sunday morning, November 19, 2023, Sheila was called from faith to reward! She leaves her legacy of love and fond memories to her devoted and faithful husband Rudolph James Turnipseed, Jr. of 42 blissful years, Son, Rudolph James Turnipseed III, Chantel YaVonne (William Birckhead III), mother, Myrtle Smith, siblings, Eleise Marie (Anthony Lewis), Delphia Latrice (Donald Fleming), Patrice Yvette (Kendall Goslee) and Delvin Lee (Tamara Smith). Siblings in Love, Esther (Toby Moore), Easter (Stanley Johnson, Sr.), Randolph (Pamela Turnipseed) and Eartha (Gregory Walter, Sr.). Grandchildren, Rosyln, Amora, Riley, Roddssean, Royal, Michael, Semaj and Damian. Aunts and Uncles: LeeEster Shirley, Avery Dunlap, Edna Smith, Ricky Smith, Vernelle Wilson, Godfather Pastor Carlton Anderson and an abundance of nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nephews, cousins, relatives and a host of endearing friends.