EAST PEORIA - Linda Susan (Graham) Purfield, 61, of East Peoria passed away at 12:58 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.
She was surrounded by her husband, family and friends, including her three YA YA sisters, Martha Clark, Debbie Grady and Sharon Schmidt, during her final hours.
She was proceeded in death recently by her father, Ralph S. Graham of Sherrils Ford, N.C.; and stepsister, Amy Thomas of Tullahoma, Tenn.
She was born July 22, 1952, in Peoria, Ill., to Ralph and Jo Ann Graham (Robinson) and married Larry Purfield on July 3, 1996.
She is loved and survived by a large family, including her husband, Larry Purfield of East Peoria, Ill.; one son, Cameron Graham of Pekin, Ill.; mother, Jo Ann Robinson; sister, Sheryl Wilmes; two brothers, Bob and Kurt Graham, all of East Peoria, Ill.; one brother, Ralph (Debbie) Graham of Albany, Ore.; one nephew, Andy (Elaine) Harris, and their son, Daniel of Fallon, Nev.; and three nieces, Amy Harris of Arlington, Va., Pam Graham of Portland, Ore., and Carrie Graham, serving our country in the U.S. Marine Corps; stepbrothers and sisters, Steve (Sandy) Robinson of Columbia, Tenn., Dawn (Tim) Crain of LaGrange, Ky., Ben (Brenda) Robinson of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Scott Robinson of Tullahoma, Tenn.; many stepnieces and nephews; and stepmother, Nancy Graham of Sherrills Ford, N.C., and her four sons, Todd, Ted, Matt and Eric Brown.
Linda had many interests. She was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church of East Peoria, where she started attending when she was just 2 years old. She was a Sunday school superintendant for many of the 30 years she taught Sunday school. She was a very active member of the United Methodist Women's Group, church wedding coordinator, directed vacation Bible school programs, helped with many meals and loved making crafts for the church bazaars. She was a Girl Scout from grade school through high school.
After high school, she obtained her AAS degree from ICC and BA from Sangamon College, utilizing her secretarial training for a successful 30-year career at Caterpillar World Headquarters, retiring in 2003.
She had a blast playing Bunco with her friends for over 34 years.
Linda was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension almost 12 years ago and proved the doctors wrong by living 10 years longer than expected. She was handed lemons and made lemonade by using this opportunity to teach the nurses that watched over her about her rare disease and how to operate her life-saving Flolan pump. She was a strong Christian who was at peace knowing her place in heaven was waiting.
Pastor Mary Arnold will lead the celebration of her life here and in heaven. Please come join us Saturday, May 3, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 154 E. Washington, East Peoria, Ill. A luncheon at the church will follow. Please bring an object or picture with a story to share.
Donations may be made to the United Methodist Women's Group.
The Cremation Society of Mid-Illinois Co. Pekin/Peoria is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at csmico.com.