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Veteran Marvin Purcell was 'extremely honest,' loved to hunt

Sunday, May 11, 2014 | 6:20 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A life-long Ashland resident, Marvin Purcell was a jack-of-all trades. He was a World War II veteran, union laborer, farmer, collector and hunter.

He and his brother Roy started hunting racoons when they were boys, his daughter-in-law Ruth Purcell said. They kept up the hobby into adulthood, when the pair would go out with six hunting dogs and Mr. Purcell's son Mike in tow. Mike owes his interest in hunting to his father, Ruth said.

Marvin Purcell died Saturday, May 10, 2014. He was 91.

He was born Jan. 17, 1923 in Ashland to Lloyd and Ellen Purcell.

Mr. Purcell served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1946, Ruth said. He was stationed in Hawaii, while his brother Roy served elsewhere.

After an honorable discharge, he worked as a union laborer on various construction jobs while farming on the side, his wife Myrtle Purcell said. The couple met in Ashland and married on June 12, 1948.

The baby boomers in Ashland knew Mr. Purcell as their grade-school bus driver, said Ruth, who is also from Ashland. She fondly remembers Mr. Purcell driving her to school from first through third grade.

"He had to work for everything he had," Ruth said. "He was extremely honest, almost to a fault. He judged everyone on that."

After 28 years in the union, Mr. Purcell retired in 1962 and continued cattle farming until his death.

Mr. Purcell loved to collect antique glass. The hobby started when the family's  collections were passed on to him, Ruth said.

"He loved to know the history and who made it and where it was from," Ruth said.

Mr. Purcell is survived by his wife Myrtle of Ashland; his son Mike Purcell and his wife Ruth, of Ashland; his sister, Marvalee Crump, of Ashland; three grandchildren, Mike Purcell, Jr., and Byron and Stephanie Cossairt; and his great-grandchild, Attichus.

Four of Mr. Purcell's siblings — two brothers and two sisters — died earlier.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday at New Salem Cemetery, 6300 E. New Salem Lane, Ashland.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Ashland United Methodist Church building fund, 300 W. Broadway, Ashland MO, 65010, in care of the family.


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