Purcell Family of America
An association to help those trace the Purcell family line
The Purcell Name
John C Purcell
Posted: 6 May 2010 at 10:25 p.m.
JOHN (JACK) C. PURCELL (93) died Sunday, March 21, 2010 after a long battle with
Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Billings, Montana, February 20, 1917. He was predeceased by his parents Edith Reynolds Purcell and Thomas Elmore Purcell, and a brother Thomas A. Purcell and a sister Bonnie Purcell Simon. He was also predeceased by his son William C. Purcell.
Mr. Purcell was a graduate of General Motors Institute, class of 1938, earning a degree in automotive service engineering. He had a career with General Motors for 43 years, retiring in 1977. He was a World War ll Veteran, serving as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was a racing sailor on the Great Lakes and raced his 35 foot Bristol sailboat in many long distance races on the lakes. He was an emeritus member of Crescent Sail Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe, Michigan. In 1979 he was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Detroit River Yachting Association. He was a member of the Great Lakes Sailing Club and charted some wilderness waters in the Great Lakes and Canada.
In retirement he pursued other interests and participated in three EarthWatch expeditions. Two of these were watching whales in Hawaii and the San Juan Islands in the Pacific. The third expedition was surveying Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. He celebrated his 75th birthday with a trans-Atlantic passage on a five-masted schooner and for his 80th birthday he celebrated with a hot air balloon ride. He moved from Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan in late 1982 to Hilton Head Island, SC.. There he was president of the Civic Club and the Plantation Homeowner’s Association. He also organized a General Motors Retiree group on the island and a chapter of the United States Power Squadron. In November 1990 he moved to the newly established continuing care community of Fleet Landing in Atlantic Beach, FL. He used his many leadership skills and organizing talents there to organize club and was elected to the first Residents’ Council. He was a member of Rotary, the Beaches Model Railroad club, and Community Presbyterian Church. Survivors are his wife, Cecile Montgomery Purcell, and children: Robert A (Christina) Purcell, Sherry Purcell Kisser, and Bradford A. (Katherine) Purcell. Also, three nephews: Thomas (Crystal) Purcell, Richard A. Purcell, and Joe Frank (Francine) Purcell. He had 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. The Memorial Service [was held] Friday, April 9, at 2 PM at Community Presbyterian Church, 150 Sherry Drive, Atlantic Beach, FL.. Mr. Purcell’s ashes are inhumed in the Memorial Garden at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. The family suggests that memorial gifts in his name be made to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.
Photo of John Purcell as General Motors executive, about age 60
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