Charles Turberville passed away on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, from complications of COVID-19.
He died in his apartment at Woldenberg Village where he had resided for the past year.
Charles was born in New Orleans in 1948 and attended Behrman High School. He served in the Navy from 1971-75. After leaving the Navy, he worked for the IRS for a short time. After leaving the IRS, he spent the rest of his professional career as an auditor for the Department of Defense, originally at the Naval Support Activity in Algiers and later at Avondale.
Charles’ greatest passion in life, however, was Mardi Gras. His love of Carnival began as a child, when he was crowned King of a Mardi Gras party at his elementary school (in later years he often told friends that he had really wanted to be Queen).
Charles joined the Krewe of Choctaw in the early 1970s and was active in the organization for decades. He reigned as Chief Choctaw in 1988, and served on the Board of Directors until a few years ago when his health began to fail. He was active in the Krewe of King Arthur for many years and reigned as King Arthur in 1997 for the Krewe’s twentieth anniversary.
In 1989, Charles joined the Krewe of Armeinius and soon became a driving force in the organization. He served as Captain for seven balls, most recently in 2013. He reigned as Queen Armeinius in 1994 and King Armeinius in 2002. He held numerous Board positions and served on the Board until 2015. Charles was also active in the Krewe of Petronius for several years in the early 2000s and reigned as King Petronius in 2008.
In addition to his krewe memberships, Charles was elected to the Board of the Fat Monday Luncheon, the oldest annual gay event in the country, in the mid-1990s and continued on its Board until two years ago. He also joined the Steamboat Club around the same time and was active until recently when his health began to fail.
Charles was a pillar of the gay community in New Orleans and is remembered by his countless friends as a man of great charm and boundless energy. Armeinius founder and longtime friend Wendell Stipelcovich recalls that Charles “was a hard worker and had a knack for pulling things together”.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother. He is survived by his lifelong friend David Scheu, who served as Charles’ primary caretaker during his final years; by his niece Tara Reaves and great-niece Carly Reaves; by cousins Bonnie Laigast and Katie Floyd; and by dear friends Claudia & Guy Laigast; as well as hundreds of friends all across the country.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the funeral will be private. A celebration of life will be planned when conditions allow.