Deborah Lucille Turpin, surrounded by her loving son and family, departed her earthly tabernacle peacefully on Thursday September 29, 2022. Born in Schenectady, New York to the late Maryann Hines and James Marshall Turpin, she was the oldest of her siblings. Deborah accepted Christ during her teenage years and attended Union Missionary Baptist Church, where she loved to sing in the choir. Known for a beautiful voice, she was often requested by community members to sing at local churches and events. “GOD CARES” was usually the song requested. A graduate of Philip Schuyler High school, and member of the Drill team, Deborah was Crowned Miss Southend Inner- city aka the Black Tulip Queen in 1970. This notable recognition occurred at a time when black and brown girls were not allowed to enter into the Albany Tulip Festival. In 1994 she obtained her business license from NYS to be an official singer. A member of the music Group called PRIMETTE, Deb, sang alongside Ruthie Franklin, Gloria Thomas and Rhonda Brown. Raised in Albany, Deborah often modeled for Miss Jody Holmes fashion shows. Her African inspired hairstyles such as Ghana braids, fishtail braids, Bantu knots, African thread styles drew the attention of the eyes of her community. Her signature style was a braided high crown by the hands of her sister Pam, who was her hair stylist and gave Deborah the most unique original braided hairstyles. She enjoyed dancing just as much as singing and dressing in the latest fashions. An original Fashionista, Deborah was a trend setter with her hair and wardrobe. She loved shoes; and was very unique with her style making a statement from head to toe with style and grace.
Deborah was an artist and writer by nature. Writing her thoughts down on anything from her childhood wall as a youngster then later in life her quotes on to Dollar receipt if paper was not near. Her quotes gave messages to the heart and soul. Not only did she magnify her love for words she also loved to draw and was amazing at it. As an educated woman, she has earned the followings degrees and commendations...Junior College of Albany (a division of Sage college) Associate in Arts on the 21st of May in 1978, then a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York Empire College in August of 1981, and a Certificate of Completion for Specialized African American Social workers from Russell Sage College on the 22nd of September in 1989. As a lifelong learner, She valued her education about her culture and current affairs as much as her formal education. One of her notable attributes is her work ethic as an outstanding professional reliable worker, she has numerous awards and recognitions from her employers that speak volumes of the impact and asset she provided in every role she was assigned. She maintained employment as Director of Social Work at Albany Medical Center for “The Albany Area Teen Consortium” 1992, & as a Director at Farano House in 1997 where she supervised a program for African American homeless babies from NYC, she obtained an Award for Outstanding Albany Citizen Council Working with African American Clients- July 27, 2001, she dedicated over 35 years with City of Albany, Catholic Charites and over 14 years at Glenmont Job Corp as youth counselor and community navigator. She lifted others, provided great support and guidance to the youth she interacted with in every career path she embarked. Deborah loved her family especially spending time watching and buying movies. She loved a NEHI grape soda and Lorna Doone cookies! She had a generous spirit. Every visit from her was like a holiday. She always came bearing gifts and the kids especially loved the Debbie snacks. A nonconformist, Deborah was forthright, independent, immensely curious, a voracious reader and enthusiast about her culture and her African heritage. She rarely talked about herself; she wanted to know about you. Deborah has always been sincere about making a positive impact upon the lives of everyone she met or interacted with. She helped anyone and everyone without hesitation. She wanted to save the world. She was extremely thoughtful, humorous and serious. She lived her life feeding all her passions and made sure she surrounded her life with things and people she loved. She had numerous friends who were very important to her especially Rhonda Brown, Lucille Mcknight, Anthony Turner, Marian Filieau, Jamie Resto and Kaleb Luke. Her family and coworkers nicknamed her the Dollar Store Queen and Rhonda nick named her Turkey.
Her Afrocentric flair was inspiring to everyone that she encountered. Every square inch of her home is designed with African inspiration. She empowered our family and laminated our lifestyle by uplifting our culture and educating us on African heritage. She always stood tall around crowds, whether it was her beautiful African hairstyles, her style of dress or her knowledge on African American history, she stood tall and proud to tell you about her culture. Her fighting spirit and determination to do things her way all the way to the end is what makes her special and one of kind.