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Rowland J. "R.J." Purdy

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Rowland J. "R.J." Purdy Obituary
Rowland J. "R.J." Purdy

FORT BELVOIR, VA: Rowland J. "R.J." Purdy, 89, a resident of The Fairfax in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, passed away, unexpectedly, October 31, 2012. He was born in Litchfield, Michigan, January 8, 1923.

After graduation from Litchfield High School in 1941, R.J. enlisted in the Army and served as an MP in the China-Burma-India theatre during WWII. His final assignment during the war found him as aide to MG Patrick J. Hurley, the U.S. Ambassador to China.

He was a graduate of the University of Michigan, with an AB degree in Political Science, having enrolled with the benefits of the GI bill, and was a devoted fan of the Wolverines. After graduation, R.J. worked as a zone manager for International Harvester Company (IHC). Through this position he met his wife of 58 years, Nancy Troup Purdy. R. J. and Nancy lived in Fremont, for 39 years.

During this time, he owned Purdy Sales, Inc., the International Harvester Dealership, and served on the IHC National Dealer Council, as well as President of the Ohio Farm & Power Equipment Retailers Association. He was also very active in the community, beginning with his service of 18 years to the Fremont Civil Service Commission. R.J. was a founding member of Fremont Investment Club, chairman of the Memorial Hospital Board, president of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce, President of the Camp Fire Council and a member of the Fremont Country Club. In 1973, Governor John J. Gilligan appointed R.J. to the Board of Trustees of what was then Terra Technical College. Since 1981, R.J. and Nancy had enjoyed spending the winter months in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and enjoyed traveling the U.S and Europe. In 1994, they retired and moved to Virginia to be near their daughter. There, they were both active with the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. R.J. had also been a member and Elder of First Presbyterian Church, Fremont, and then a member of Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia, and the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale.

R.J. is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Liz and Don Porter, of Mt. Vernon, Virginia; grandchildren, Matthew and Samantha Porter; and many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his wife in 2011; his parents; and was the youngest and last surviving of 10 children.

A memorial service will be held for R.J. at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia, followed by inurnment in the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in R.J.'s honor may be made to: Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22181; or the Army Retirement Residence Foundation -Potomac, 9140 Belvoir Woods Parkway, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Demaine Funeral Home, 520 South Washington St., Alexandria, VA, 22314, 703-549-0074. www.demainefuneralhomes.com.
Published in the The News-Messenger on Nov. 6, 2012
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