Obituaries for May 28, 2012

By Baker City Herald May 28, 2012 09:16 am

Donald Purcell

Donald Frank Purcell, 73, of Baker City, died May 16, 2012, surrounded by his family.

A celebration of Don’s life and memorial service will be Friday, June 1 at 11 a.m. at Baker City Christian Church on Highway 7 in Baker City. Friends are invited to join the family for the service, and for a reception immediately following the service at the church.

Interment will be held at a later date in Beloit, Wisc.

Donald was born on July 26, 1939, in Beloit to John and Helen (Sommer) Purcell. He was raised in Beloit and graduated from Beloit Memorial High School.  After graduation he moved to Janesville, Wisc., to learn the bakery business from his uncle, Kenny Hansen. He learned well and enjoyed being a baker for well over 50 years of his life. While in Janesville he met his first wife, Patricia Bruggee, and they married on June 17, 1961. Don and Pat had three children: Tammy, Timmy and Shelly.  The couple later divorced, but remained friends.

Don worked initially at The Rolling Pin in Janesville, then for many years at Market Square Pastry in Lake Forest, Ill.

In 1973 Don married Matina Gherondas. Matina had two children, Teddy and Gus, who Don raised as his own. Don and Matina divorced, but also remained friends and prayer partners by phone.

Don was an avid sailor on Lake Michigan. He loved reading and was a book collector. He enjoyed having knowledge at his fingertips. Don enjoyed gardening and camping. He loved the evening campfire with his family. He was a ham radio operator since high school, proficient using the Morse code. In later years he took many videos and family pictures.

Don struggled with health issues for many years. Five years ago he moved to Baker City to be near his daughter, Shelly, and her family.

Don is survived by his children: Tammy and her husband, Norm Boots, of Hoffman Estates, Ill., Tim Purcell of Milwaukee, Wisc., Shelly and her husband, Brent Wilson, of Baker City, Teddy Phillips of Zion, Ill., and Gus Phillips and his wife, Jennifer, of Zion; grandchildren: Hannah Wilson, Chad Drake, Sarah Bernardy, Tyler Purcell, Lexi Phillips, Sebastian Phillips, Kyle Phillips and Johnathon Phillips; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Sharyn and her husband, Tom Christensen, of Meridian, Idaho; several nieces and nephews and his beloved canine companions, Danny and Tara.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Purcell; his sister, Deanna Purcell; and daughter-in-law, Michelle Phillips.

Those who wish to make a donation in Don’s memory may do so to Baker City Christian Church through Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.