Oscar Donald Puryear
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Oscar Donald Puryear died on June 10, 2014 of natural causes at the Hiland Cottage, Hospice of Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey, Michigan. He had turned 94 in February.
Born in Brethren, Michigan on February 14, 1920, he was one of 12 children of Henry Puryear and Della Gilbert Puryear. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a teenager, spent a year at Indiana University, and then served in the U.S. Army as a medic deployed to Europe during World War II. For his service in WWII, he was awarded the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars for bravery. Prior to Army service, he married Lucille Anna Battige of Freesoil, settled in Lansing, and worked briefly at the Lindell Drop Forge. After the war, he moved to Dimondale. Over the next forty years, he managed a gas station in Lansing, became manager of wholesale accounts for Drake's Refinery Stations, became a realtor, and worked for the State of Michigan. During the 1970s, he and Lucille built a cottage in Yuba, just off Grand Traverse Bay, and spent many happy summer days there. An ardent fan of polka music, he and Lucille became regulars on the polka circuit after retirement and developed a broad circle of music-loving friends. After Lucille passed away in 1999, he moved to Frankenmuth to have closer contact with the polka community. He was also an avid reader, amateur geologist (rockhound), and brewed his own wine and beer. In 2011 he moved to the Independence Village retirement community in Petoskey.
He is survived by two sons, Jeffrey (Myriam) and Gary (Marcia); a daughter, Penny (David) Van Dam; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his love of polka music, he is best known for his independent spirit, patriotism, sharp sense of humor, positive attitude, and extraordinary people skills. He had many friends and no apparent enemies. He will be greatly missed.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at Christ Lutheran Church, 122 S Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing, MI, with visitation at the church starting at 1:00 p.m. The family will also receive friends for visitation on Friday, June 13 at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, Lansing Chapel, 900 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI from 6 - 8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Independence Village in Petoskey on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hiland Cottage, Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey, Michigan, or Christ Lutheran Church, Lansing, Michigan.
The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, Lansing Chapel. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.grlansing.com.
Published in Lansing State Journal on June 12, 2014