Obituary: Robert E. Purcell, 96

Robert E. Purcell, age 96, of Meadow Ridge, Redding, formerly a 46-year resident of New Canaan, Conn., died peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. Born in Arlington, Mass., on Jan. 25, 1919, he was the son of the late Daniel and Mary Doyle Purcell. He was predeceased by his wife Eleanor Casserly Purcell, who died in 1996.

Raised in Arlington, Mass., he graduated from Boston University, where he majored in education. Upon joining the U.S. Navy, he received his commission as an officer became captain of a sub chaser in the Aleutian Islands, the Bering Strait and Japan. For his Naval service Lt. Purcell received the following medals: American Area Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area Medal (1st Star) and the World War II Victory Medal. He served from 1942 to 1947.

After the war, Purcell began a career in textiles. While working for Manchester Hosiery Mills in New Hampshire, he met his future wife Eleanor, and they soon settled in Belmont, Mass. In 1963 the family moved to New Canaan, and he continued his career in New York City, representing a variety of textile firms. He received his last order from The Vermont Country Store at the age of 92.

Purcell is survived by one son, Robert B. Purcell and his wife Robin of Danville, Calif., three daughters, Louise P. Hemmerle and her husband Glenn of Wilton, Conn., Kate Purcell and her husband Kevin Plette of Burlington, Vt., and Eleanor Adams and her husband Brad of Sullivan’s Is., S.C. Also surviving are six grandchildren: Ford (wife Kady) and Sarah Adams, Heather and Ginny Purcell, and Ned and Meg Hemmerle, and two great-grandchildren, Wells and Hattie Adams. In addition to his wife, Purcell was predeceased by his granddaughter Eliza Adams Metz.

A memorial mass will be held on Jan. 30 at 11 at St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in New Canaan.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to:

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Attn.: Fr. Peter Le Jacq, MM, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, N.Y. 10545 with IMO Bob Purcell written in the memo section.

The NCHS Scholarship Foundation, Attn.: Treasurer, New Canaan High School, 11 Farms Rd., New Canaan, CT 06840

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