September 22, 2011

(11/10/1923 - 9/14/2011)

William R. "Bill" Purvis, 87, of Memphis, Missouri, passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis.

He was born November 10, 1923 in Scotland County to Phillip A. and Alva L. Tippett Purvis. He attended country school through the eighth grade. Bill was the last of his eleven siblings to pass away.

He married Dora Dean Penny on June 8, 1946 and to this union four children were born. Dora passed away December 3, 1969. He then married Verna L. Peck Howard on January 23, 1971 in Memphis, Missouri.

He served as a tail gunner with the Army Air Corp during World War II in the South Pacific.

Bill was a row crop and livestock farmer. He operated a bulldozer, and also worked at the family owned saw mill. In his later years he worked at the Memphis Recreation Center and performed countless "handyman" jobs for many people. Bill was a kind and generous father and stepfather and always treated people with the same respect as he would have wanted to be treated.

He was a charter member of the Memphis V.F.W. Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 and a member of the First Baptist Church in Memphis.

He is survived by his wife, Verna, of Memphis; a daughter, Phyllis Purvis, of Columbia, Missouri; three sons: Larry Purvis and his wife, Lenora, of Columbia, Missouri; Richard Purvis and his wife, Betty Jo, of Sedalia, Missouri; Lynn Purvis, Memphis, Missouri; three stepdaughters: Lea Ann Hughes and her husband, Alan, of Norman, Oklahoma; Debbie Shepherd of Marceline, Missouri; Annette Schwab of Smithville, Missouri; five stepsons: Stephen Howard of Katy, Texas; David Howard and his wife, Debbie, of Cherow, Colorado; Douglas Howard and his wife, Becky, of Abilene, Texas; Jon Howard and his wife, Erica, of Isle Wight, England and Joe Howard of Branson, Missouri. Other survivors include seven grandchildren: Gina Blakey, Phillip Purvis, Angie Purvis, Jeff Purvis, Chris Purvis, Nathan Purvis and Augusta Purvis; twenty-six step-grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, Tori, Zachary and Emma Blakey and Noah and Isaac Purvis; forty-one step-great grandchildren, two great-great-stepgrandchildren, many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, four sisters: Mabel Purvis, Mary Rossi, Jessie Onken and Bette Hergenreader; seven brothers: Joe Purvis, Elmer Purvis, Carl Purvis, Charlie Purvis, Herbert Purvis, Wayne Purvis and Hugh Franklin Purvis who died in infancy and two stepsons: Leland Howard and Michael Howard.

Funeral services were held Saturday, September 17 at 11 A.M. at the First Baptist Church in Memphis with Pastor Dan Hite officiating. Music was provided by Mike and Pam Blaine. Burial followed the service at the Memphis Cemetery. Casket bearers were Chris Purvis, Jeff Purvis, Nathan Purvis, Phillip Purvis, Isaac Purvis, Shawn Blakey and Lonnie Vance. Full military honors were accorded by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958. To honor Bill's memory, a memorial may be made for the Concord Cemetery and may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555. Condolences may be made to the Purvis family by logging on to Arrangements are under the direction of Memphis Funeral Home.

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