Earl Gordon Purvis, Jr., son of Earl Gordon Purvis, Sr., and Lola Jewel Ashley, was born June 4, 1944 at St. Joseph, La., and died on Oct. 25, 2013 at his home in Marshalltown at the age of 69 years surrounded by his loving family.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Mitchell Family Funeral Home. Visitation will be held one-hour prior to the services at the funeral home. Per Earl’s request, please come in casual attire. Full military honors will be presented by the combined honor guard of the Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 839 and Frank Lewis Glick American Legion Post No. 46. For condolences, visit www.mitchellfh.com or call (641) 844-1234.
Earl was lovingly known by many nicknames: Junior, J.R., Bobo, Purv and most importantly, Dad and Papa. He was raised and educated in St. Joseph, La. Just as Earl entered high school, the family moved to Centerville, when his dad gained employment on the pipeline. He graduated from Centerville High School in 1962. Following high school, Earl worked at a local plumbing and heating business in Centerville, farmed and milked cows. In 1963, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a Seabee. He was stationed at the Cape Hatteras Naval Facility during the Vietnam War where he worked as an electrician, a construction worker and a fire truck and ambulance driver for the Navy. Earl was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1967.
Earl was the father of five daughters: Michele, Lisa, Julie, Tami and Jacque. They were the children of his marriage to Karen Gregory.
Earl was a farmer and cattle feeder in the Centerville area following his marriage. He began his employment at Fisher Controls in Marshalltown on Oct. 16, 1967. He worked mainly in the nuclear valves department as a senior order tracer and customer service representative. Many customers of Fisher Controls wholeheartedly trusted Earl with their order and knew he’d get the job done and do it well. In 2002, Earl retired.