PURCELL, Harold Hidmore, age 87, died Saturday, July 14, 2007. He was born, raised and lived his entire life in his beloved Louisa County. He was born in Louisa on February 7, 1920 to his beloved father, John Samuel Purcell and his beloved mother, Mary Elizabeth Walton Purcell. He attended Louisa Elementary School, graduated from Augusta Military Academy in 1937, and then attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a law degree (Jurisdoctor) in 1942. He served as a Captain in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945 in World War II, and was honorably discharged. He returned home at the age of 26 and was elected to the General Assembly of Virginia. He served in the House of Delegates of Virginia from 1947 to 1959, and the Virginia State Senate from 1959 to 1966. In 1966, he was appointed Judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit, where he served until his retirement in 1979. In 1979, he joined his son, Charles, and formed the law practice of Purcell & Purcell where he was the senior partner until his death. Some of his best friends in the Legislature were Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr., Governor Mills Godwin, and the Honorable C.W. Cleaton of South Hill, Virginia. One of the important laws he patroned was the uninsured motorist act, which was passed in 1958, and which still exists to this day as a critical law to protect the citizens of Virginia. Mr. Purcell was a lifelong member of the Louisa Christian Church, where he was a deacon since 1956, trustee since 1961, and elder since 1964. He was a member and past Master of the Masonic Lodge #58 in Louisa. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite. He was a member of the Board of the National Bank & Trust Company (now Wachovia Bank), a member of the Louisa County Historical Society, and a member of the Louisa County Bar Association from 1942 until his death. The most important thing to him was his wife and family. He was married to Virginia Omohundro Purcell on July 3, 1942 and celebrated his 65th anniversary on July 3, 2007. He is survived by his beloved wife, Virginia; two sons, Harold W. (Hal) Purcell and his wife, Anita of Midlothian, Virginia, and Charles F. Purcell and his wife, Janet of Louisa, Virginia. He is further survived by four grandchildren, Brian Christopher Purcell and his wife, Stacy, Lee Walton Purcell, Eric Flint Purcell and his wife, Jennifer, and Virginia Victoria Purcell; and three great-grandchildren, Connor Ross Purcell, Taylor Claire Purcell and Hayden Jay Purcell. He is also survived by five nephews and nieces, John Jerl Purcell, Betsy Purcell, Richard Grafton Purcell, Patsy Purcell Alexander Hatchett and Charles Alexander IV; and many great-nephews and nieces, and great-great-nephews and nieces. Finally, he is survived by a devoted family friend, Merle Butler; and his longtime legal assistant of 55 years, Pertie Bickley. He was predeceased by five brothers and one sister, Charles Walton Purcell, J. Gerald Purcell, Emma Purcell Alexander, Leon Joel Purcell and John Sam Purcell. He was an officer and legal advisor to his father's company, Louisa Land & Lumber Corporation, and he was the founder, President, Chief Operating Officer and guiding influence of Purcell Land & Lumber Corporation. He loved his home, his community, his state, his country, his church, and most of all, his wife and family. Visitation will be held at the Louisa Christian Church on Tuesday, July 17, 2007 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and funeral services will be held at the Louisa Christian Church on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 1 p.m., led by the Rev. Dr. H. Denmark Burnette. Interment
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Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch on Jul. 16, 2007.