John Michael Purce
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September 28, 1944 - October 18, 2013
John Michael Purce, loving father, grandfather, husband and son, devoted brother and uncle, and loyal friend slipped peacefully away on a dream as he slept October 18, 2013. He was 69 years old.
Michael was born September 28, 1944 in Pocatello, Idaho, to John William Purce and Idaho Thompson Purce. He was their first-born and was a guiding light for his two brothers and two sisters. He was born and raised in Pocatello's historic Triangle district, and attended local schools, graduating from Pocatello High School in 1962. He entered the U.S. Army right after high school and was stationed for a time in Germany.
He returned to Pocatello after the army and enrolled into Idaho State University. There he pledged the Epsilon Theta Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He was a proud member of 1972's Magnificent 13, the largest line of pledges to be brought over into the fraternity in the nation that year. He earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Idaho State University, and made the work of social services and social justice his life.
Michael was a Regional Manager for the Social Security Administration in California. He transferred to the office in Pocatello to be near his parents, and he retired from the agency in 2005. Michael then worked as the Home Buyer Counselor for Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services for several years after his retirement.
In 1976, Michael married Barbara Hudson, and together they raised a family through more than 30 years of marriage. Late in his life, he met LaDonna Garcia. They married in 2011 and built a serene and happy life together until his passing.
Michael was an avid reader and an enthusiast of fantasy worlds, movies and fiction, particularly the works of JRR Tolkien. He was the official Santa Claus for every family Christmas. He loved current events, sports, games of chance and holidays. And he held an enduring faith in the Dallas Cowboys.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Purce and his brother Tony Spencer. Michael is survived by his mother, Idaho, his wife, LaDonna, his sons Zachary and Gabriel; his daughters Camille (Jordan) and Maggie; stepchildren Taylor and Marie (Charlie); his brothers Thomas Leslie (Jane) and Kim (Nikki); his sisters Deborah and Kellie (Svein); and his granddaughter Ella. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins whom he held close to his heart; dear family friends Donald Doster, Caroline Mahone, Gloria Boddie, Marilyn Doster, Robert Willis and Annette Allen; and a multitude of friends who will miss him deeply.
In the Elvish language Michael loved from the Tolkien world: Na lû e-govaned vîn. (Until next we meet.)
A Rosary will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at St. Anthony's Church, 524 N. 7th Ave, Pocatello, ID, with a viewing to follow. A service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at St. Anthony Church. Interment will follow at Mountainview Cemetery, 1520 S. 5th Ave, Pocatello. A repast will be held after interment at the Bonneville Neighborhood Center, 427 N. 6th Ave., Pocatello, ID.
A gathering of family and friends will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Office Bar, 251 E Center St., Pocatello, ID 83201.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Michael's name to Aid to Friends. Donations can be made to the Aid to Friends account directly through the Idaho Community Foundation, 210 W. State Street, Boise, ID, 83702.
Published in Idaho State Journal from Oct. 19 to Oct. 22, 2013