Rev. Richard A Purnell, Jr. passed away on Jan. 19, 2021, at his home in Myerstown, PA. The son of the late Richard Arthur and Edith (Fenton) Purnell, he was born in Mahanoy City, PA, on June 15, 1924. He married his college sweetheart, the late Louise (Faupel) Purnell, on June 12, 1945, and the two enjoyed 67 years together.
Rev. Purnell’s ministerial career spanned 40 years. After graduating from Dickinson College, he attended Boston University’s School of Theology and, as a student, served a parish in West Falmouth, MA. Upon graduation in 1945, he was ordained into the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church and served seven churches. These included Hampton Bays, Roosevelt, Bay Shore, and Bellmore in Long Island, Carmel and Saugerties in the Hudson River Valley, and Watertown in Connecticut.
Upon retirement, Rev. Purnell and his wife moved back to their Pennsylvania roots, settling in Myerstown in 1985. They enjoyed re-establishing ties with relatives and friends and the opportunity to enjoy travels here and abroad. Rev. Purnell particularly enjoyed tracking down the history of his great-grandfather, becoming a civil war buff in the process. He brought a sense of humor to many of his endeavors and frequently concocted groaner puns.
Rev. Purnell is survived by two children, Susanna Purnell, of Myerstown, PA, and Richard William Purnell, of MacDonald, PA, and a grandchild, Lauren Purnell, married to Kyle Swingle, of Charlottesville, VA.