Family-Placed Death Notice
PURDIE, Bill, Jr. BILL PURDIE, JR. William "Bill" James Purdie, Jr. passed away at his home in Milton, GA on July 22, 2010. Bill Purdie, former Master Mechanic - Steam Engines for Southern Railway, and later Norfolk Southern Railway, had a career which afforded him the opportunity to bring smiles to thousands of people, both young and old. Purdie began his 47 year career with Southern Railway in February 1936, as a machinist's helper in Pegram Shops in Atlanta; he then served as machinist's apprentice and later roundhouse foreman. Purdie preferred the shop to the road stating "The shop restores; the road debilitates." His theory being that "The exhaust, smoke, whistling, bright headlight, and flailing rods of a photo run-by were glamorous; but the lathe, forge, drop pit, rivet furnace, crane, and hammer made the dramatics possible." A strong belief and deep conviction in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, led Purdie to be actively involved in the East Point Presbyterian Church for many years. He was Building Committee Chairman during the church's expansion and served in several other capacities through the years. Purdie belonged to several organizations, including the Atlanta Chapter, National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) (Charter and 50 year member), Southeastern Railway Museum, Southern Railway Historical Society, American Legion Post 51, National Rifle Association, National Model Railroad Association, and was a Kentucky Colonel. Bill Purdie was married to the former Sara Elizabeth Fries of East Point for 52 years until her death in 1993. He is also preceded in death by his parents William James Purdie, Sr. and Charlotte Taylor Purdie, both from Scotland; son John Davis Purdie; brothers Douglas, Alexander, and Kenneth; sisters, Hazel Purdie and Charlotte Boggus. He is survived by sons William James Purdie, III and wife Ruby of Milton, Georgia, and Donald Kenneth Purdie and wife Sharon of Wise, Virginia; grandchildren Deanna Purdie, Dr. Brian Purdie, Matthew Purdie, and Jeff Roark; and one great grandchild, Juliet Rose Purdie, as well as several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind a very dear and close friend, Joyce Harris of Atlanta. Family will receive friends at Northside Chapel, 12050 Crabapple Road, Roswell, Georgia, Between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., Saturday July 24. Funeral services, officiated by Dr. Allan Purdie, will be held Sunday July 25 at East Point Presbyterian Church at 2:00 p.m., followed by graveside services and interment at Hillcrest Cemetery. Family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Southeastern Railway Museum, Duluth, Georgia.
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jul. 24, 2010.