Richard L. Purcell
- May 13, 2023
Richard L. Purcell
Richard L. Purcell, 90, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2023, at Wealshire of Bloomington in Bloomington, Minn.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell, Iowa, with a visitation beginning at 1 p.m.
Dick was born and raised in Anamosa, Iowa, on Aug. 6, 1932, the son of Ray and Cora (Walters) Purcell. He graduated from Anamosa High School in 1951 and went on to obtain his degree in education from the University of Dubuque before enlisting in the Army as a Specialist 1st Class for two years. In 1957 he began his teaching career at Grinnell Junior High, teaching 8th grade social studies, coaching football, basketball, and track, and serving as assistant principal. Dick married Martha (Marty) Sias on June 22, 1963, and raised one daughter, Lynn, in Grinnell while continuing his 37-year career in education where he is remembered for his love of American history, no-nonsense discipline, and keen sense of humor. He retired in 1994.
His greatest joys included doting on the family dogs, tending to his colorful gardens and manicured lawn, cheering on his beloved Hawkeyes, reading, traveling, and enjoying “chat ’n’ chew time” with family and close friends.
Dick was an adored husband, father, father-in-law, and brother. He will be greatly missed by his wife of nearly 60 years, Marty of Minneapolis; daughter, Lynn, and son-in-law, Gene Valek, of Minneapolis; brother Robert Purcell (Helen) of Webster Groves, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ernest Purcell, and his sister Evelyn Newhard.
In lieu of gifts, we ask you to make a memorial donation to the Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) in his honor.
One Message for “Richard L. Purcell”
Great memories from H.S. and College. Roommates at U.D. Teammates at both places. Dick was a very special athlete with a unique personality exactly like his Father. Greatest respect and sympathy.