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Jesse Purcell

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Jesse Purcell Obituary
PURCELL, Jesse JESSE "JESS" PURVIS PURCELL Jesse "Jess" Purvis Purcell of Lawrenceville passed away on August 16, 2014 at the age of 93. Jess and his twin brother Carroll were born in Atkinson, Georgia in Brantley County to the late Carrie Hires Purvis and Jesse Greene Purvis. When their mother died at their birth, the twins were adopted by their mother's sister, Mollie Hires Purcell and her husband, Burrell Demry Purcell, Wayne County School Superintendent. Jess' family moved to East Point in 1928. He graduated from Russell High School in 1940. Jess began his Bachelor of Science degree at University of Georgia, Atlanta, but enlisted and was called to active service in 1943 in the Army Air Corp before his degree was completed. He became a C-47 pilot and flew transport missions in Europe and Africa. He continued to serve until 1946 in Allied occupied Europe. Jess returned to complete his Bachelor of Science degree at University of Georgia, Atlanta and began teaching high school social studies. Jess completed a Master of Arts degree from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1957. Jess taught 31 years, 29 of those years were at Fulton High School, Atlanta Public Schools. Jess met his future wife Virginia Catherine Toms, a native of North Carolina, while they were taking graduate courses at University of North Carolina. They were wed at Chapel Hill in August 1951. They made their home in East Point and had a daughter, Carol Virginia. Jess was an active member and deacon of First Baptist East Point. He enjoyed music, playing both piano and organ, gardening, and traveling. Jess and Virginia moved to Ft. Worth, Texas for a few years and welcomed three granddaughters into the family. They moved to Stone Mountain, and eventually made Lawrenceville their home. Jess enjoyed their membership at Smoke Rise Baptist and a few other Baptist churches over the years. He and Virginia made numerous trips throughout much of North America, Europe, and Asia. Jess and his wife enjoyed 49 years of marriage when Virginia passed away in 2000. Jess considered himself fortunate to stay active and see his granddaughters' weddings and welcome five great-grandchildren into the family. Jess became a member of First United Methodist Lawrenceville whose members and staff visited and prayed for him as a senior home bound member. Jess was predeceased by his wife, Virginia Toms Purcell, his brothers, Burrell Demry Purcell, Jr. (infant), Colbert Thaxton Purvis, and Carroll Hires Purcell, his sisters, Evelyn Purcell Showalter and Helen Purvis Free, and great-grandson, Henry Samuel Loudermilk (infant). Jess is survived by his daughter, Carol Purcell Stewart and her husband David Allen Stewart, three grandchildren, Carrie Stewart Bartlett and her husband Dr. Ryan Paul Bartlett, Beth Angela Loudermilk and her husband Dr. James Brian Loudermilk, and Marie Catherine Bunzey and her husband Mr. Jason Paul Bunzey, five great-grandchildren, Alan Matthew Bartlett, Daniel Robert Bartlett, Joshua David Loudermilk, Nathan James Loudermilk, and Savannah Noelle Bunzey, and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Monday, August 18, 2014 from 6:00 until 8:00pm at A.S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home Decatur. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm, on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at A.S. Turner and Sons Chapel, Decatur, with Rev. Sheri Smith officiating, followed by interment at Westview Cemetery, Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross or the Scholarship Fund for Grace Arbor at First United Methodist Church Lawrenceville, Georgia. A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Aug. 18, 2014
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