Earl “Wayne” Purscell, 81, left this earth on Friday, June 9, 2017, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, IA after succumbing to a head injury caused by a nasty fall at home on Monday morning.
Wayne was born February 18, 1936, in Winterset, IA, to Joseph and Frances (Jeffries) Purscell. He graduated from Des Moines Technical High School in 1954, and served in the US Army 1958-1960. He married Gloria Rathjens on November 3,1956.
Upon his return home from service, Wayne became a painter (eventually becoming self-employed for over 40 years), and over time developed his craft so well that he was considered a painter/artist- his canvas being walls; bringing beauty to people’s homes and businesses throughout the greater DesMoines area. He was considered by many an expert in the field of faux and specialty wall treatments, with his work being published in Better Homes and Gardens Publications. Wayne also studied Accounting at Drake University, was an avid reader and enjoyed trivia. He would at times refer to himself as a “keeper of odd knowledge”.
Highlights in Wayne’s life were his European vacations with his beloved daughter. Wayne, after teaching himself French in preparation for one of their adventures, endeared himself to many Frenchmen with his quick wit and engaging personality. He enjoyed his time in Minnesota and Wisconsin where he would work on his children’s homes; and fishing trips to Northern Minnesota, especially those with his son and grandson. His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. Wayne was loved by all animals, and he missed dearly the three loves of his life- his dogs “Albert”, “Sally” and “Vinny”.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Gloria; son, Brian (Laura) of Spartanburg, SC; daughter, Carla (Mark) Stewart of Brooklyn Park, MN; brothers, James (Wanda) of AR, Jerry (Susan) of Runnells, and Larry (Kathy) of Roland; sisters-in-law, Julia Bunce of Savage, MN, and Loretta Rathjens of Des Moines, brother-in-law, Richard (Pat) Rathjens of Cedar Rapids; two grand-children, Grant Purscell of Bentonville, AR, and Heather Purscell (Ryan Bradley) of Iowa City; half-siblings, Mary Jo Pezzi, and Richard Purscell of FL; very special nephews Craig (Jessica) Purscell and Kevin (Julie) Purscell, along with many other nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Frances Robbins; father, Joe Purscell; sister, Shirley Purscell; parents-in-law, Richard and Bernice Rathjens; sister-in-law, Phyllis (Ed) Shimak; brother-in-law, James Rathjens; and half-brother, Melvin Purscell.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Mercy Hospice or the Animal Rescue League of Des Moines.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Merle Hay Funeral Home: 4400 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines, on June 13, 2017 at 11 AM. Visitation will take place 1 hour prior to the service, also at the funeral home.