William Thomas “Bill” Purcell, Jr.
December 6, 1929- December 3, 2021
William Thomas (Bill) Purcell, Jr. of Churchton, MD passed away on Friday, December 3rd in Annapolis, MD from recently discovered metastatic cancer. He was 91.
Bill was born on December 6th, 1929, in Chicago, IL, the second of four children to William Thomas Purcell and Ursula Anna Purcell (née Mattingly). He interrupted his studies in General Engineering at the University of Illinois to serve in the US Army as a radio technician (1951-1953) in Yokohama, Japan during the Korean War. After leaving the service and completing his degree, he spent most of his professional career in the tire industry, working as a tire engineer for several manufacturers including Goodyear and Farm Bureau Safemark. He then worked for many years in tire and appliance sales and did not fully retire until age 80.
Bill was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather and a man of deep faith who was active in his church. He was an Eagle Scout and served as a Boy Scout leader for all three of his sons who in turn reached the rank of Eagle.
Bill was also an avid reader, committed runner, and a skilled woodworker. He was rarely seen without a book and had a deep interest in American history. He began running after age 50 and ran more than a dozen marathons before turning 70. He enjoyed working in his basement workshop and recent projects included a Little Free Library and a toy chest for his grandson. He refused to let his age put limits on his life; he learned to scuba dive in his 70s and loved to swim in the Gulf of Mexico into his 90s.
He was predeceased by his sister Dorothy O’Connor, wife Barbara Joyce (Jay) Purcell (née Tucker), and daughter Lori Jean Burwell.
He is survived by his wife Marsha Herndon Purcell, sister Marjorie Maxson of Wheaton, IL, brother Richard Purcell (Flo) of The Villages, FL; three sons Wade Herbert Purcell of Atlanta, William Thomas (Tom) Purcell, III of Seattle, and Ryan Herndon Purcell (Riley Steiner) of Atlanta; son-in-law Stephen L. Burwell of Virginia Beach, VA; six grandchildren, Barbara Joyce (Joy) Burwell and Sarah Burwell Scofi (Jason) of Alexandria, VA, Anna Buford Purcell of Bordeaux, FR, Hayley Joyce Purcell of Seattle, Grace Kathryn (Kat) Purcell of Bellingham, WA, and Ellis Richard Purcell of Atlanta; and two great-grandchildren Mary Pearl (Mae) Scofi and George Burwell Scofi.
The Purcell family wishes to express profound gratitude to friends and neighbors for their support, and to the nurses and providers at Anne Arundel Medical Center for loving, compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Centenary United Method Church (Shady Side, MD) and Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation.